As I walk by my record collection I can see his eyes peering up at me, hypnotizing me, calling me to pick up his record and listen. I shift my focus to avoid eye contact, grab my Marianne Faithfull Broken English album and quickly, guiltily, place it over his. I can't stand to look at him right now.
Such is the anguish of fanatic guilt; when you spend months, years (or in my case almost a decade) obsessed with a celebrity to the point of embarrassment, only to have that obsession start to fade. There was a time when I listened to nothing --and I mean, nothing-- but Frank Sinatra. Dean Martin's voice would only seep out of my speakers if it was accompanied by Frank's in a duet. The only way that a David Bowie song would reach my eardrums is if his music was playing in a supermarket or my parents had popped in one of his cds in the car and I could not escape. I was the most fanatic of fans, to the point that his face was plastered around my room, screen-printed on my t-shirts and taped to my first cell phone as a make-shift case.
Every year on December 12th my family and I would celebrate his birthday by watching a double feature of his movies and a concert while eating pasta topped with sauce that I made using Sinatra's recipe. For every Christmas from 2000 to about 2009, my presents were entirely Sinatra-themed. I relished Christmas shopping because it was the one time of year when I could hear his voice loftily floating through the air without having put it there myself.
And so I felt a bit of a sting the other day when my mom recalled an event from a few years ago and added "that was during your Sinatra phase."
Was it really a phase? And was it really over? I sulked a bit and marched up to my bedroom. As I sat on my bed I noticed a Pogues record on my turntable. A quick glance at the art adorning my walls would prove that I'm a fan of Anna Karina, Giulietta Masina, Louise Brooks, Sunday in New York, Dirk Bogarde and Jane Fonda but you'd never guess that I like Sinatra. The only presence he maintains in my bedroom is a magnet on my bulletin board, tucked under a photo of my cat, and a pile of records that haven't been touched in years.
I can see his eyes peering up at me, hypnotizing me, calling me to pick up his album and listen. But, wracked with the guilt of a fan who has let her interest slip away, I can't stand to look at him right now.