I'm sure these kinds of letters come off so trite.  "I'm *such* a big fan!  Your songs, they mean so much to me!  Here's my son I've named after you!" and so on and so on.

And I realized why.

You put your *heart* into your songs.  Your most intimate secrets.  All of us feel like your best friend.

And I bet it gets tiresome! :)  [Well, not really...but then, I bet it *does* really! :) ]

It must be the worst kind of...what's the word?  There must be a word for, "that moment when someone comes up to you like you've been friends all your life but you can't remember their name, or where you know them from, or even who the heck they are at all!"  It must be the worst kind of that, with all these strangers trying to be your best friend...

So forgive me if this is more of that trite fandom.

I wrote you a poem trying to capture that feeling I have that I've grown up with you, that you are an old lover, that we've gone our separate ways, but still care for eachother.  There are lots of times I miss you and just want to call you up and say, "don't be a stranger!"  To tell you about all the wacky things I've seen and done since moving away from North Carolina...

And hoo-boy have I had some amazing adventures!  I moved out here to work at Pixar, and worked on "A Bug's Life" and "Toy Story 2", and -- the best part -- built both computer models of the birds in "For The Birds."  That was my favorite part.  I like building things.  I went to Burning Man for the first time in 1998.  In 1999 I built a large water fountain on fire -- a "firefall" -- called The Cauldron, and kinda got a reputation for that -- the water protects you so you can even hold the fire in your bare hands!  For Burning Man this year, I'm building a much bigger 3-tiered copper firefall, called "Egeria" after the Roman goddess of fountains.  I also just got married -- got married at Burning Man in fact!  Scott, aka Sparky, is an electrical engineer who designs microprocessors, and is also becoming a well-know fire artist in the Bay Area in his own right.  He's also a fellow North Carolinian -- and even though I went to Chapel Hill and he went to State, at about the same time, and we have *many* common friends, ironically, we only finally met out here!  Tickets to this concert are my birthday present from him.

"Gone to Santa Fe" could've be me, if you'd said San Francisco and added a lot more fire. :)  I grew up in Saluda, and these are big things for a small-town girl like me.

I miss you, David.  I know you probably have a ton of other friends to visit -- friends you actually *know*, not strangers like me -- but I'd love to take you out to dinner next time, or brunch, or whatever before you head out again, and introduce you to some of the most amazing artists you could ever meet.

I've tried to talk to you before, I've always felt silly and awkward, and fumbled my words, and always walked away feeling like a fool.  I think getting a "famous person's" signature is dumb.  I'd rather give something back instead and have the story to tell.  [I gave an origami guitarist to Pete Seeger, and gave an 8-ball keychain to Douglas Adams and sent flowers to Leo Kottke who put them on the stage!]

This I give to you.  A small window into a stranger's heart.  It's so small compared to the piece of your heart you give to us all.  And forgive me if this is trite anyway. :)  I'm still just another adoring fan after all. :)

Yours, a stranger/an old lover,


PS If you stir this poem around and find a song in there, I release you from all copyright, blah blah, in whole or in part, legal blah, whatever.  I'd be very flattered, and I think other fans would understand these same feelings.  But jeezo, this poem sucks! :) I've been wanting to write it for years, but scribbled it down this week before you came.  It would take a lot of work to clean up.  Pay it no mind. :)  But it's yours nonetheless, to do with howsoever it pleases you.  I'm just honored you got this far in my [long] letter. :)  I'll send you a new version if I ever get a chance to clean it up.