I was pressed so hard against the barricade, bruises were already showing themselves just underneath my skin.
Purple yellow marks that would last for weeks.
He was a mere five feet in front of me.
Bashing the microphone on the stage
over and over
as tears and black eyeliner streamed down his face.
He could barely get through the last few words of “Hurt”
Trent Reznor stopped singing entirely.
He turned his face to the side for a moment.
And our eyes locked.
It was maybe five seconds.
It was as if he broadcast it all – all of his emotion in his body, through mine.
It is a moment I will never forget.
That I still talk about.
That I’m still telling you years later in this diary.
Whatever happened was pure voodoo.
Perhaps the very essence of magic itself.
That moment of a high that you spend your life trying to get back to.
What was it about that moment that burned into my mind…..?
The magic of intense connection, of uncensored being.
And did he really see me?
Could he…through all the lights and noise?
Was it some kind of trickery or a one-sided emotional journey on my part?
I felt like I knew the answer then, but now that I perform night after night, I know for sure.
It is as if, the majority of the time in life, I live with screen doors over my heart, so you can see most of it and get most of it, but not all of it. If I lived wildly and how I felt all the time, I couldn’t be out in public because half the time my behavior would be inappropriate.
On stage, the doors are wide open.
I hand over my heart to you.
Every last bit of me.
All my dirty truths.
And those moments when my skin is tingling from being on stage,
when our eyes burn holes into each other.
It is absolutely fucking real.
More real than 80% of my life.
Night after night, we go to new cities around the world.
Each different from the next.
Each has its own energy, its own vibe that I can feel within five minutes of getting on stage.
Some crowds are passionate and vocal.
Some crowds are reserved but connected.
But every single night, I will look out into the audience
and make no mistake –
I can see you.
And there are moments where my eyes will lock with your eyes in the audience
and there is a true connection
that shakes me to my core.
It’s what happens when we’re stripped raw of niceties and conversation,
when we are just there – wild, sweating, crazy
when we are on the same page,
the same journey
when are minds are focused and present in that moment
when we aren’t thinking about what to have for dinner, or if we passed that test at school, or if we’re doing okay in life, or if our friends really like us or whatever….
All those things fall away.
It’s a moment when it seems like there’s just you and me.
and those moments when I look out and that “lock” happens……
I feel like I’m downloading my soul into yours and
yours into mine.
Even if we will never speak.
Even if I never see you again.
I know you.
And you know me.
We both stopped hiding.
And I will take those moments.
And the memory of your faces
to the grave.