We both felt our age during the Atlantic crossing. The seas were very big and our muscles and joints got a workout trying to hold on or push off almost constantly for three weeks. My right shoulder is still out of whack and it hurts to even lift my binoculars. Yesterday I got an even louder message reminding me that I’m OLD; although being a bit isolated for the last eight years also contributed to this embarrassing episode.
A week or so ago Bonnie (my daughter) wrote me an email and in it she asked if I’d run into Amy Winehouse. I thought she was being funny and Amy must be a friend of hers honeymooning or vacationing on St. Lucia.
Last night I hauled the laptop up to Scuttlebutt’s, one of the marina’s open air restaurants, to attempt a Skype connection with Bonnie. She wasn’t answering and I was signing off when Gene comes up and says, “Amy Winehouse just came in.” Don’t ask why I didn’t ask, “How do you know she’s here?” It didn’t register; I was just so astounded that Bonnie’s friend should show up. It really is a small world! So I get up and follow Gene. “Where is she?” “Right in front of you.” I look and here’s this girl a bit younger than Bons. “Are you Amy Winehouse?” I ask. “Not her,”Gene says, “Her.” I turn to see an attractive young lady with a lot of tattoos on one arm and ask her if she’s Amy. She says yes and I say, “I don’t know you at all (or maybe I said, From Adam) but I think…..” she kind of stiffened, then gave me a hug and said something like nice to meet you, and walked off to the bar. I was thinking, “Strange girl”. I felt I had to explain so Bonnie wouldn’t be embarrassed. I followed her and said, “Wait. You didn’t let me explain. I don’t know you, but my daughter does and I’m just saying Hi for Bonnie.” The place was empty except for some American cruiser’s watching San Diego lose to Pittsburg, and they were in the middle of the place. Amy and her friend were the only people at the counter. She was sitting on a stool while I explained myself and I realized she had an actor’s persona. Ah! She must be a friend from Bonnie’s Hollyweird days. “Are you an actress?” I ask. “No. I’m a musician.” she says. Oh! So she’s one of the musician friends, and probably not a friend but an acquaintance. “Do you know Bonnie?” I couldn’t give a last name because I’m not sure what last name Bonnie might have used. She gets a look as if she’s thinking. She asks me my name which kind of throws me off. I am trying to think of some people Bonnie and Amy might have in common, but can’t remember any names. So here’s this poor girl being faced with this Grandmother who seems a bit unhinged as she asks herself, “What was the name?...” Finally a name popped up. Do you know the Beastie Boys? She smiles and gives me a raised arm with a fist and says, “Yeah, Beastie Boys.” She gives me another hug, a definite dismissal hug, and I walk off, having done my best to say ‘Hi’.
I go back to my computer on the other side of the restaurant and try to skype Bonnie again. I am still unsuccessful and decide to try another hot spot. I go to tell Gene, who is watching football, that I’m going to try somewhere else. By this time, Amy was gone. I ask Gene, “How did you know that was Amy?” It turns out the people watching football told him. “How did they know? Is she famous or something?” He says, “Yeah, she’s like today’s Mick Jagger.” Oh my God! “No wonder that was such a strange encounter! Poor girl. She must have thought I was a psycho!”
Now mind you, written out this story takes a few paragraphs and time to read but the whole thing took less than five minutes so don’t think I pestered the girl forever. I got a quick glimpse at how hard it must be to be famous. You can’t even go to an out of the way place in the West Indies without some fan bothering you.
I went to the hot spot at Café Ole and tried to connect with Bonnie until my batteries ran out. I finally sent her an email telling her I met Amy. When I came back to the boat, Gene and I had a good laugh at my expense. “My God, I really insulted her. I must say she behaved very civilly under the circumstances.”
Gene went to bed and after I played a rubber of computer bridge, I got a good enough signal to hook on to the internet. I googled Amy Winehouse. Seven Grammys!! Terrorists threatening her! My signal was not good enough to get a youtube music to play, so I haven’t heard her, and before I could read about the terrorists, I lost signal. I felt bad for intruding on her privacy, even though I did so innocently. I now know that she is a famous rock star, er, well maybe not…a famous musician (I don’t know what kind of music she plays) but still I felt sorry for her. She is so young and in retrospect a bit vulnerable behind a veneer of a wall.
Amy, just in case you ever google twitching or birding or circumnavigation or sailing and stumble upon The Twitching Sailor, may I say, “It was nice to meet you. Thanks for being so tolerant of an old, out of touch sailor”