About a year ago, when Brenna first moved home from Australia, Elton John & Billy Joel were coming to Toronto for a Face To Face concert. Brenna thought it would be a good idea if we went and she paid for tickets for us to go. (Yes. She IS the best sister ever.) A bit of background info. I grew up listening to Elton John, Billy Joel, and Van Morrison. Every memory of my childhood, every significant event in my life is tied to a song of theirs. I remember the lyrics to everything and I can sing almost every song. When Brenna flew to Australia I sobbed my eyes out very pitifully to "Daniel" for about 4 days straight. And when I finally got over that, I sobbed my eyes out to "Rocket Man" for reasons I still don't fully understand.
So Bren bought us the last two tickets on the internet. They were on opposite sides of the Air Canada Centre, at the very top row. But our optimistic selves thought that we could just call each other and sing the good bits from across the stadium.
We arrived on concert day and hugged each other and walked to our separate sections, chatting over cell phone the entire way. The way the concert worked out, we were blocked from seeing each other (or anything, really) by a massive jutting something that sticks out from the back of the ACC. So we waved and then we had to hang up because it was such a steep climb to our seats that we needed two hands. I had to use a half-ladder thingy and also climb over (and not like "Oops, sorry" but "AGH! Oh! ooh! Sorry!") four people to reach my perchy seat. I WAS SO EXCITED. I could see Brenna climbing across the stadium until she disappeared behind the outcropping.
Suddenly my phone rings.
"I found my seat an -- OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD! What? Shit, I have to go. Aghhhhhh!"
She hung up on me and I started watching the spot at which she had disappeared, expecting to see her body tumbling to the ground of the ACC. Instead, I see her following a trail of people single-file down the stairs. The phone rings again.
"RUN TO ME. DO YOU EFFING HEAR ME? RUUUUUN. TO. ME. NOW."
She hung up again. Now, if you have ever heard Brenna say "Run to me" you will know that you never question it. You just start running. I vaulted over the four people and the ladder and hopped over the seats to the stairs, pelted through them, shoving people out of the way and clutching all my belongings to my chest. The phone rings.
"RUN TO ME. ARE YOU RUNNING???"
"I am! Whaa--"
She hung up. I sprinted along the stairs and around the building, body-checking people willy nilly.
I reached her just as she reached the front of a queue for upgraded tickets. Of all the things to make me run for. I HATE RUNNING. WTF.
She gave me shit for not running fast enough.
I gave her shit for making me think there was an emergency and that she was lying half-dead somewhere.
We handed in our tickets, at which point I was like "These had better not be worse". Ha. Like anything could be worse than sitting separately and clinging to a ladder in order to see. Halfway down the stairs I read the tickets and started clutching her arm and hoarsely saying "Floor. Floor. Floor seats. Floor. Floor..." but she didn't catch on until we were actually going through the door that said "Floor".
Brenna started freaking out but I played it cool. Like "Yeah, I always have floor seats." I stayed calm while we got our seats. I was smiling but I don't think it had sunk in.
The lights went down. Elton John and Billy Joel rise up out of the stage already seated at their pianos and break into 'Tiny Dancer'.
I burst into tears.
For real. I was completely hysterical. Just sobbing my eyes out. I couldn't see. I couldn't sing. I could only sob.
"Oh, for goodness sake" Brenna said as she passed my kleenex and laughed in my face.
"Elton... is wearing..." *sob*"... a jacket...."*sobby breaths*"... that says..." *sob*".... ISLAND GIRL!" More hysterical sobbing. I am still not even that sure why the Island Girl Jacket even meant anything to me. That's not even in my top ten faves.
But I couldn't stop. I sobbed for the entire 3 hour concert. I was eventually able to sing, too, but mostly what I remember about this experience was the endless stream of happy tears and my wish that both Happy Bunny and my mom could have been there.
I wanna go again. And maybe not cry my eyes out this time. But I could never go without Brenna.
Background image of Face to Face in Cleveland is from thart2009