I’m having an antsy day. Nothing really amuses me or keeps my attention for long. I was perusing through Youtube and found a parody video of the Phantom of the Opera tune, Music of the Night, but done with a Quarantine twist.
It was amusing enough but what caught my eye was a video listed below it. Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman doing their version of Music of the Night, O.G. Phantom of the Opera circa 1988.
A little backstory:
Back in 1990, I was 25, living in California, no kids, husband was off in Desert Storm, and I had a shitload of time on my hands. A friend wanted to go see Phantom of the Opera in Los Angeles. I was like, “Whatever.” I really didn’t care about it one way or another.
And then, I saw it.
I’m a fairly obsessive sort of person. I measure points of my life by what thing I was obsessed with at what time. 11 years old, I was mostly in cryptozoology majoring in Bigfoot. Around 13, I was big into Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars. Rounding into my teenage years, I was into Dracula. WAY TOO into Dracula. At one time, I could actually write out his family tree. Yeah.
And there were my Jesus Freak years….
There were a handful of other obsessions that came and went but, at the time, I was Obsession Free and feeling pretty good about myself.
Until Phantom of the Opera.
Gurrrrl, I went down a huge rabbit hole. I spiraled deep. And this was before the Internet so luckily I only had the local library and my the swamp of my own head canon to drown in. I played my CD* constantly, staring off into the dark as I created my own fantasy world, writing what would now be called Fanfic of the Phantom’s adventures Post Christine.
In these fantasies I replaced her (the bitch) as his love interest but it was never requited because….wow. Damn. What the hell Past Nik? Can’t even score in your own head canon?
It’s embarrassing but, fuck it. I own it. That is who I was. A lonely, 25 year old, fantasy driven kid dreaming of some ill fated love affair with a disfigured, definitely homicidal, possibly rapist, tragic Anti-Hero.
Hey, who hasn’t done that?
Crash back into Present Day Nik as I watched the MTVesque video of Crawford /Brightman performing Music of the Night.
A song, I also want to emphasize, that would grab Past Nik by her panties, twist them around my middle parts and pull me into ecstasy.
I’m not even joking.
During the high point (or low point depending on your POV) of my Phantom crush, there was concert in Irvine featuring the best of Andrew Lloyd Webber featuring, MY MAN, Michael Crawford. I scrabbled up my meager pennies and got a seat that was SO FAR AWAY from the stage, he appeared like a Pink Singing Blob on the stage. It didn’t matter. When I heard his voice, I felt myself become transcended. Listening to him sing Music of the Night, I felt like I was being pulled off my seat.
Yeah, it’s humiliating but I promise you there is a point I am slowly working my way towards.
SO, crash back (AGAIN) to Present Day Nik, watching the video, blah, blah.
And I felt nothing.
No. That’s not true.
I did feel something.
I feel annoyed.
Like, seriously….what the hell am I watching? He’s a manipulative maniac pretending to be an angel sent by her dead father. She’s a naive, social climbing, theatre kid wannabe.
The candles, the gothic atmosphere, the cape, the boat, the flowing gown.
Was this my ideal of Romantic Love? Who was that person? Why did my 25 year old dumbass self find THAT attractive?
Kidnap me from my bedroom, gaslight me, murder coworkers, attempt to crush me with a chandelier, terrorize my friends, garrote my boyfriend, stalk, kidnap me (AGAIN) and sabotage my career?
I’m too far away from 25 year old Nik. I’m so far removed from her that I can’t even begin to understand what the ever loving fuck she found romantic in such a character.
Present day me, 54 year old menopausal me, she doesn’t have the time, patience or the fucking energy to put up with that kind of shit.
I don’t want Romance.
I don’t need hormonal gas lighting.
What 54 year old Nik wants is someone who has her back, can loan her $20 when she’s short on cash, will rub my gnarly, dry, scaly old lady feet, watch Rick and Morty and keep my goddamn glass of wine full.
You can take your gondoliers and sewers underneath the opera house & shove it.
*CDs for the Younglings out there are round, silver discs we used to listen to music. Now, they are used mainly to hang on sticks and scare away crows.