It was Kanas City, backstage. So, week two. I remember because I was running round after the encore, bottle of bourbon in one hand squeezing titties with the other because god damn the chicks were digging it and here I was some hick from absolutely nowhere, blowing horn for the goddamnest motherfuckingest biggest rock and roll band on God’s earth. I just walked round with this turd-munching grin on my face because I was the happiest kid in the world. Didn’t care if the guitarist could barely look at me I was so green and unhip. I was a puppy dog in a cage of old wolves. The bassist stone-faced me, wouldn’t even say my name, just sat there in his eyeliner and silver trousers like the most murderous Space Odyssey fag you ever saw.

I was in the singer’s orbit. You can’t ever say you’re talking to him, or even hanging out with him. You just rotate inwards and hover, gospel-thankful for the loan of his gravity. He was smiling and leering in his faux-cockney-aristocrat-Muddy-Waters concoction of a voice and if I’ve forgotten what he was saying I don’t think I was even listening at the time. I couldn’t. He was too awesome, his words drowned out by the scream in my head yelling his name over and over again in a kind of halleluiah.

I noticed her because she was the only chick in the room without some skeletal Brit using her as a scratching post. She just stood back, watching. She was dark-skinned, not a negress – how do you call coloured women, now? It’s the kind of slang round here would get half these white boys a deserved pounding from the mildest NAACP grandma let alone a haunting from Mr X – she was maybe Latina but with this golden brown hair, like sunshine off wet, unvarished pine. Maybe I could call her a shulamite. Shit – that’s Bible class coming back. I must be dying.

Yeah, I watched because she was beautiful, like I’d kick any dirty road-crew gut out of the way just to touch her smile. I can’t remember what she was wearing. Why can’t I remember? I know it can’t have been much because her shoulders were bare, strong, like she could lift my scrawny ass over her head. Man her hips played Sidney Bechet when she walked. I watched her because of how she stared at the singer, how she smiled as she listened to him speak. Like she didn’t give a fuck for him, his money, his space-drag act, his rockstar dick. Like she pitied him.