A Reluctant Star

Twelve. That’s how old I was when I signed my first autograph. Walking to Blair’s house on a humid summer day for our usual activities, blast classic rock music and peruse her mother’s closet of designer gowns. Never worn, once upon a time we looked at the tags and gasped, now we play a game.
Oscar De La Renta. Guess how much?”
Always round.
“Four thousand!” I yell.
“Wrong, six!”
We’re competitive.
“Okay my turn. Yves Saint Laurent?”
I watch as she compares houses in her head, both of us too naive to factor in the other variables that dictate value.
“Seven thousand!”
“Wrong, ten!” I gawked. Every week the collection expanded.
“What!” Blair, blond and sure of her estimate, saw for herself. The Doors play filling up gaps of silence.

He tore a piece of looseleaf from a spiral notebook, despite my protest that no I wasn’t a Disney star, or a child star, or a star of any sort.
“You’re going to be famous one day,” I scrawl my government as he insist. “I’m the first person to have your autograph, I’m going to save this, it’s going to be worth lots of money someday.”
Pleased he walks in the opposite direction, towards third, his forest green cap with ear flaps covering his brown curls. He was hispanic and at least 10 years older than me and three inches shorter. What a nut. I went on my way, long limbed and determined to conquer the avenues.

Twelve years later my shift at Blue Smoke ends. Thank the lord. Everyone is gagging, RuPaul is here and the staff is going wild. Unable to find him I make my way out of the Jazz Club. “You look great,” stunned I make eye contact with the legend.
“Thanks,” I reply, secretly wondering if he was on that stuff. I look disgusting, having not changed out of my work clothes post strenuous shift. We walk side by side, it’s familiar and telepathic. Lorelei, dark haired and pale skinned, stops us begging Ru for a photo.
“You come too,” he plucks the shoulder of my leopard print jacket.
“I always love a star.”
Originally in the middle, he rearranges us so he stands only next to me.

Flattered is an understatement, but I’m no star. At least I never wanted to be. Successful, yes, famous, no thanks. All those people in your business, expecting something I wasn’t willing to give. Yet, still it was told to me everywhere. The more I attempted to shrink myself, the more I stood out.

A reluctant star, that’s what I am. Such is my fate. And now it’s time to face it full on, so I’ll use it to better the world. How do you feel about fame? Via: Getty Images