Im gonna tell you a story - a story about fame. Actually, it's notat all difficultto make the papers. All you have to do is behave in a drastic and scandalous way; showing your boobs or getting laid on the reality TV show would do. Good luck with that. Try your best. Get your glorious fifteen minutes of fame. Yet such fame isn't genuine; it's like a flash of lightening which doesn't last and is gone without a trace. I'm gonna tell you a story about another kind of fame, the one you have to fight for, the one logged with your sweat and blood, the one that inspires.
I was a little girl with the big dream. While my peers used to fantasize about becoming a policeman or a doctor, I was visualising myself standing on the stage, my high heels on, the guitar inlayed with glittering diamondsin my hands. I would sing and play my instrument to the revelling crowd making their hips move and their souls give up to the music. That night only the crowd, the stage and the show would exist. In reality, though, I was standing in my meagre sitting room with the peeled off peach wallpaper. I was holdingin my hands theaged guitar with scrapes in the place of diamonds. I was with the high heels on, that's true, though my feet were sunken in mum's scarlet shoes that were too large for the little girl, and I couldn't move. I was performing to the best fans in the whole world sitting on the ottoman opposite me. My mum, her face lit up with ebullience, was surrounded by the rag dolls and plush toys and she was the utmost fan of them all.
My mother saw the huge potential in the twelve year old girl so she took me to the music school and she had to sell her wedding ring to pay for my classes. Mum didn't grieve though.
"Don't worry," she said to me. "It's not a big deal. The only precious thing your father has left to me is you."
So my mum sold her wedding ring at first. Later on she had to sell the splendid pocket watch, the eighteenth birthday gift from her parents. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough. When the bills and the payment for my classes had eaten all the money, mum found the second job. While she was struggling with the two jobs, I submerged myself into the world of notes and sounds, descants and melodies, school show rehearsals and hits on the radio.
"Here you are, my little pop star," mum smiled at me spraying the sweet aroma of lavenders on my neck. "Put on a great show tonight."
"I will," I said.
She did my hair and make-up, and gave me her heels. They fitted well. I was fourteen then. I was standing on the stage this time; a little cosy stage of my school. I was holding the same battered guitar which once had belonged to my mother and this time there were neither dolls nor toys in my audience but real people. And my mum was there, sitting in the front row like once on the ottoman in our sitting room. I sang and played the old guitar and my mum was still my biggest fan.
On my eighteenth birthday mum returned home from work and took me to the beachwithout saying anything. The ebony weaves of the restless sea were dancing around us and the starry sky was the spotlight, dunes - the decorations. She was holding in her hands a heavy case bandaged with a crimson ribbon and my heart jumped as I realised what it was.
Happy birthday, my pop princess," mum said handing me the case. The old one was worn out so I bought you a new one."
Havinguntied the ribbon with my trembling hands and opened the case, I sighed and the tears of joy flowed down my cheeks. I touched the sleek surface of a brand-new guitar. It wasn't inlayed with diamonds but it was priceless nonetheless and its shiny wood was glossing in the starlight.
Oh, mum. Thank you so much," I said hugging and kissingher. I can't tell you how happy I am."
Thats not all," mum smiled in a wicked way and pulled a gorgeous dancing dressout of her bag. I want you to succeed where I couldn't. I want you to be happy. That's why I have bought you this."
Mum's hand disappeared in the pocket of her jacket and emerged again. She was holding a rectangular piece of paper in her hand and it took my breath away when I saw what was written on it. New York City' it said and those three words were like music to me.
Its a one way ticket," mum said. "There is nothing for you here. Your talent, your personality is too big for a small town like this. Take this opportunity. Go to New York City. Seek your dream and never give up."
"Oh, God. I'm so happy I guess I'm going to faint," I laughed and I had never been so excited in my life before. But my euphoria was interrupted by perception.
Mum, you've spent so much money on all of this. You can't spend so much on me."
"I was saving money for quite some time."
"But our bills"
"Ssh," she put her fingers on my lips. "There are more important things than that. You are. Take this opportunity. Don't lose it. Take your guitar, put your dress on and go to New York City. And fight for your dream."
For the remainder of the night we were sitting on the sandy beach under the starry sky, dunes shielding us from the wind, and my mum did what she hadnt done for years. She sang in a high gentle voice and I accompanied her with the new guitar and the distant tempest in the sea was her backing vocalist. She was happy and all the strain and worries were washed away from her face that night. When we got tired we lied on the sand and looked at the Milky Way sprawling in the unclouded sky. The stars were looking at me; they were there every night and they could be seen by everybody from all places of the world. When the stars died, their blaze would still linger on for ages. I gazed at them and I knew that I didnt want to be a lightening, I wanted to be a star.
So I put on the dancing dress, dyed my hair turquoise and boarded the bus to New York City. I was sitting in the back my precious case beside me and Freddie was singing "Princes of the Universe" in my headphones. I came to New York, the city of endless opportunities, but the fulfilment of my dream was still far away. With nothing but the empty pockets I desperately needed work and I got a job as a waitress in a fast food restaurant. At days I was serving burgers, at nights thrumming my guitar at the basement with my new fellows. I barely slept at all, but you know, nothing comes easily; recognition isn't served like a glass of champagne at the ball. You have to ferment it yourself.
It wasn't long when the terrible news arrived. My mum had died. I was devastated. As I was told she had been severely ill for quite some time. She hadn't told me anything. The gruelling work in two jobs had drained her life force. Mum could have quitted one job and had more rest but instead she had worked hard and she had bought me a guitar, a dancing dress and the ticket to my future.
I felt like drowning in muddy water. And in such a situation there could be only two paths to reach the bottom or to summon up all the strength and to emerge to the surface. I couldnt sink; after all I have been a fighter all my life. I plunged myself into the music and transformed my grief to creative force, writing songs, composing tunes, singing whenever I could. Music was my lifeboat and Freddie was my lifeguard. He was like fluoxetine to me constantly making the dark days brighter. And he kept me going. You know, fame is like a beacon fire. When one beacon is lit atop the hill its fire can be seen at the great distance, and then the other beacon is lit and after it yet another. Freddie was my beacon and he lit me. I never stopped; I kept going, serving in the dinerat daytime; singing in the clubsof New York at the night-time. My hard work paid off eventually as the day came when I met my producer, Irecorded my first album and released my first single.
And now I'm standing in the spotlight in front of you. Not in front of the rag dolls and toys, not in a sitting room or a school hall, not even in the prestigious night club of the New York City but in the stadium in front of thousands of my devoted fans. I see your blissful faces and I'm holding the guitar, the very same guitar I have been given by my mother on the beach. It's not inlayed with diamonds but for me it's far more precious than the rocks. I wouldn't be here without my mum. You believed in me and encouraged me and I know that you are there in the stars watching me and your light lingers on and I see it every day of my life. You know, sometimes the smallest person can have the biggest heart and the tiny acts of love can shape the life of others completely.
She's been my beacon. Freddie's been my beacon. They've been shining in the distance all the time. They've lit me and kept me on fire. And I wish I could be this little spark that ignites someone's desire to work for their own dream. But enough of talking for now. I'm going to sing you a song. And it's called Fame'.