So that happened…

Oh my God, what’s your name? My name’s Lyle…

A few years ago, George and I were staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Cleveland. Why were we staying there? Because somebody else was paying for it. 

We knew Lyle Lovett was playing in Cleveland that night, but because of the work-related purpose of our visit, we would not get to see the show. Bummer.

We would, however, manage to see Lyle.

We’d already run into Julian Lennon in the hotel bar, so if that Cleveland evening wasn’t already star studded, it was at least bedazzled. Late the night of the concert, after a long evening of adult beverages, George and I and several likeminded revelers found ourselves standing in the Ritz-Carlton lobby, laughing loudly at one thing or another when Lyle Lovett entered the premises.

George, in the middle of a story, noticed the imminently noticeable singer/songwriter out of the corner of his eye and announced, “There’s Lyle!”

He really only said it to the four or five of us who’d been chatting. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but George’s voice carries. It’s a radio thing, I guess. Regardless, Lovett heard him, and he’d said it with such familiarity that Lyle apparently, for just a minute, looked over expecting to know who’d said it.

Still warm from the cocktails, George and I decided to pretend we knew him.

We strolled nonchalantly toward Lyle, George smiling with his hand extended. He shook the hand of the now visibly confused Lovett and told him how much we liked the new album.

I insisted that my brain tell my hand to stay away from Lovett’s hair, because I was overcome with the desire to touch it. It’s just such fantastic hair! I wanted to touch it!

I did not.

I did, however, smile like a speechless moron and turned what many have labeled “Hope Madden Red.” (Crayola copyright to follow.)

Lyle smiled politely, thanked us for our kind words, and headed hurriedly toward the elevator.

We trailed him, smiling like a couple of drunken maniacs who might just follow him right up to his room.

As Lovett stood in the elevator and waited for the doors to close, George and I stood facing him, just outside the elevator, waving.

The moment lasted a weirdly long time.

Lovett pushed and pushed at the button for his desperately wanted floor, but nothing happened. The door remained open, the smiling possible stalkers remained just outside the elevator.

Lyle did not realize that, at this late hour, he had to insert his room card into the elevator panel to get the doors to close.

We chose not to tell him.

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