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by Melody
Rated: 18+ · Other · Comedy · #862908
4th and final grouping of excerpts from "Dreams Don't Die"
THE *Hollyrock SHOW 1993?

Oh, the scandal. I was nearly arrested for impersonating myself. Ian was nearly arrested for his very public telling-off of a very important club-owner during a performance, airing live on NY fm radio. We, Joyce, Tommy and Rob were thrown out into the parking lot with our loot to the horror of patrons and media. Such a scene ensued we made the nightly news.

MUCH TO BE FILLED IN HERE. THIS IS THE WORKING COPY

Joyce, Kevin and I were running late. Ian instructed us to meet him there and snatched one of the two identical black duffle bags from off of the foyer floor.

"Don't be late!", he called, rushing out to his waiting vehicle. "I'm counting on you!"

We gathered our things and piled into Joyce's car. With thirty minutes until show time we needed to perform some kind of miracle. Joyce sped along, weaving in and out of traffic while I and her brother Kevin held on for dear life. Twenty minutes (and three near accidents) later we tore into the parking lot and rolled into one of the few remaining free spaces, bumping the curb. The place was mobbed.

We slipped our way in and out through the crowd-past people who didn't appreciate us "cutting" in line.

"Hey!", one girl in an Ian Crawford T-shirt complained, ready to deck me. "You can wait with the rest of us!"

"I'm sorry!", I apologized. "We're in the show and we're running late." I heard her mutter as we hurried past, "Who the hell was THAT?" We were then hassled at the door.

"Excuse me, where do you think you're going?" the man at the door stopped us.

"We're on in ten minutes!", Joyce exclaimed.

"Who are you?" he asked, and so I introduced everyone.

"And I'm Melody."

"Melody?", the man laughed, looking me over. "I've seen Melody-and you couldn't pass for her in a million years. She's a lot better looking than you are, my dear!" Uh, OUCH? So I was having a bad hair day. He and his partner simply wouldn't let us in. Separated from Ian and still in our street clothes we had a hard time convincing those in charge that we were in fact, part of the night's entertainment.

"Oh, come on!" I complained, frustrated. Time was running out. "I am who I say I am! "

"PROVE IT." He insisted and so I went fumbling through the bag for my purse and Identification. I realized I had the wrong duffle bag. Ian had my purse and costume and we had his...along with his master track tape! I nudged Joyce.

"Oh, this is bad."

"Oh, definitely bad", she echoed. Tick Tick Tick Tick... I couldn't tell if it was the time or my heart racing.

"Look, I'll vouch for her", I offered, pointing.

"And I'll vouch for her." Joyce smiled.

"And I'll vouch for both of them", added Kevin.

"Who's he?"

"Our...photographer", I fibbed. Kevin's underage. We needed a valid reason for his presence.

"Oh yeah?", the man doubted, folding his arms. "Where's your camera?" Joyce yanked her dinky 35 mm out of the bag. "I don't think so!"

"They really do work with Ian Crawford", Kevin assured them.. "They're the dancers." We tapped them out a quick number.

"Nice try", they simpered, still disbelievers. "You know, I could have you arrested for impersonating a celebrity." Hey, I do that daily, don't I? "Give it up already!" This guy was beginning to chap my arse. "It's amazing what some chicks will do to get close to this yahoo." Where was my mother when I needed her?

"I can prove I'm really Melody!", I exclaimed. "I'll sing something!" Without the benefit of the usual warm-up I started belting out my latest song. I should have quit while I was behind. Clearly my hair was not the only thing in bad shape on this occasion.

"SECRUITY!"

"O.K. So I officially suck", I decided. This particular night, at least. "But I am Melody." Surely he must believe me now, I thought. Who else would admit it after that pitiful performance? "Please, do whatever you have to do-take blood, fingerprints, photographs, whatever it takes to get us through those doors."

"No", bouncer two refused, smiling smugly. Were they on some kind of power trip or what? Okay, now he's gone and done it. My arse has done been chapped.

Forced to resort to using her physical attributes, Joyce tried flirting, batting her eyes and whispering goodness knows what in his ear. His jaw dropped.

"Young lady!", he gasped, looking around. Otherwise, nothing.

"Maybe he's gay", I reasoned, thrusting Kevin forward. "Go for it!" Now, Kevin isn't gay. Kevin isn't into big brutes of bouncers. Kevin is 17 and just about wet himself now nose to nose with him.

"So, do you come her often?" he flushed. And as he spoke those words he attempted to lean coolly against the building but missed the brick altogether and landed on the cement. Whimpers from below. Bouncer isn't gay either. Bouncer is mad and starts rolling up a sleeve to show just how not gay he is.

"Whoa!", I interceded. I spoke to the doormen aside. "Would you please pass this on to Ian?" I pleaded, serious. "With out this tape there won't be a show at all and all these hundreds of people on line will be disappointed and probably want their money back. Do you really want to be responsible for a disaster like that?" Dirty perhaps, but I was desperate. They snatched and examined the cassette.

"Okay", they finally relented. "We'll see if he knows you. We'll escort you, but just you."

"Great", I sighed. "Thank you."

"Hold it, wannabe", they halted. "That's a $15 cover charge."

"You've got to be kidding me-", I responded, then gave up. "My money is in my purse backstage with Ian." Finally, I alone was led firmly away by the arms to Ian's dressing room. Like criminals.

"Is this really neccessary?" I questioned. "You're hurting me." He shoved me into Ian's dressing room.

"Do you know this girl?", the bouncers asked him. "She claims she and her two friends are with you."

"Melody!", he exclaimed. "Where have you been?" He scoffed at them. "Of course they're with me!"

"Catch!", I called, throwing him the needed cassette.

"Let go of her!" Ian shrieked, rushing over. He took me into his arms. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine", I assured him. "I was more worried about getting your things to you."

"I did wonder what I was going to do onstage singing a capella in my skivvies and a pair of size seven pumps." (Is Monty Python hiring?)

[This a more to insert here]

Things went crazy, with Ian griping at the management and fellow recording artist Tony Mascolo trying to intervene and correct the problem. I stupidly interrupted.

"Shut the F--K up!", Ian roared in my direction. I stepped back. He'd never spoken to me like that. But then, Ian was seldom prodded the way he was on this occasion.

[Still more to insert here.]

Ian insulted the club owner and management over the microphone between songs while the show was airing live on Hot97.

"I just want to say to the assholes who gave Melody a hard time that they can kiss my"--is how it began, but only grew more colorful.

"Ian, no!" I worried, trying to hush him. "It's okay! Let it go!" "I've performed in a lot of arenas and worked with a lot of people over the years but I have never encountered a ruder bunch of unprofessional dicks in my life!" A security officer guarding the stage area lunged towards him, angry. And then -while still onstage-Ian actually grasped his head and thrust his leather-clad crotch in his face. My jaw dropped. I couldn't believe it. Ian's mother Roberta couldn't believe it. She gasped, anticipating disaster. The crowd responded in screams. The radio people ordered a cut tape. The mic squealed before being shut off, but Ian got out his last words before knocking the stand to the ground.

"I'll get him out of here", Roberta promised aloud. Her efforts to mediate with management did little good. We were quickly surrounded and pulled offstage, physically accosted and tossed out through the kitchen, our belongings thrown behind us. It is really a wonder the police weren't called. Ian knew he was indeed out of line but you can only push the man so far before he blows his top, and good. It should be understood this was the result of an entire night of insults and badgering on the part of the club's staff, directed at the both of us.

The loyal crowd protested. They decided if we weren't welcome then they didn't want to be there and so by the hundreds they poured out the front doors to greet us.

"IAN! IAN" they chanted, their hands held high. Ian leapt upon the hood of a shiny sky blue convertible and addressed this most loyal crowd.

"They can kick us out but they can't shut us down!" And the people cheered. Ian bent down and pulled me up beside him. "They can turn off the music but they won't stop us from dancing!" And they didn't, as Ian He took my hand and held it high. And with the night sky filled with dreams and defiance, Ian in his sleek black limo led the procession down the now crowded street from club to diner, where we landed in one great invasion. "Everyone's welcome!", Ian exclaimed. "Let's eat!"

The next day, the repercussions of our actions came back to haunt us. Spoiled with good reviews thus far, the news reports this morning spoke badly of us. The media were appalled. Ian was immovable, lying quietly upon his bed, squinting in the slither of morning sun that penetrated his jet black blinds.

"I feel bad", he whispered. "I lost it. It's not like me to lose my cool and be nasty to people like that but I couldn't stand the way they were treating everyone. It was bad enough they were awful to me but when I saw the way they treated you--I wouldn't stand by and let someone mistreat anyone I care for like that."

"Oh, Ian", I sighed, flopping down beside him. "I don't know what to say other than thank you. You defended my reputation and in doing so tarnished your own."

"Bad press", he muttered, disgusted. "You stick up for your friends and you get bad press."

"Not all of it was bad", I informed him, kissing his forehead. "The people who stormed out behind you were behind you 100%. You'll live this down. One bad experience does not a career make. And Ian? Whatever com comes,-be it good, bad, or in the case of last night, life-alteringly ugly, I'm in it with you."

"I know you are baby, and I love you for it."

Some time later:



"Mel!", Ian chimed, calling from the bedroom. I was in the bathroom, washing my face and brushing my teeth. "I'm waiting!" I sauntered out like I had just won the lottery and was about to collect my prize.

So where was he? There sat the mound of bedsheets, no Ian in sight. I checked under the bed. I checked the closet. I rechecked the bathroom. Poof. He was gone.

"Call in the national guard!", I called, in jest. "Ian Crawford's been babe-napped!" I began looking for clues. Damn aliens. Can't they leave people alone?

"Psss"

"Ian?" I whispered. Who else could it be? I crept toward the hissing.

"Psss" It seemed to be coming from behind his chrome-colored stand mirror. I grinned.

"I've got you now!", I exclaimed, charging. Just as I sprang forward he leapt upon me from behind. He'd been crouched at the foot of the bed, waiting to scare the living poop out of me, which he did quite successfully.

"AHHH!" I screamed, knocked onto the floor. He gathered me in his arms, laughing. "I hate you!" He knew I didn't mean it.

"But I looooove you!", he teased!", tickling me. Olive-skinned, ivory-toothed, brilliant and brimming with personality he is near perfection. I stared into his unbelievably beautiful brown eyes and awed at the blessing of his affection.

"I love you" I panted, out of breath. I hugged and squeezed him tight. "I've never loved anybody like I love you." I really haven't. He smiled, sweetly. "You're the best thing that ever happened to me."

Excerpt: On Modeling; 1991?


Well, I thought by now we'd all have had a good laugh and we'd go home but-someone must have spiked the city water supply because-people seem to be serious about wanting to hire me as a model. One company asked me to do a calendar.

"You're joking?" I laughed. "Who in their right mind would pay money for a calendar of me?" The blind?

"I'd bet fifteen grand a lot of people would", the photographer maintained, handing me a business card with his credentials.

"Did you say fifteen thousand dollars?" I gasped, suspicious. He was with a legitimate company, one I've heard of. "Wow." Fifteen grand for a calendar shoot? I thought....that kind of money would mean I could get my own apartment, buy a car, pay for recording time in a good studio....It could pay my way out to L.A....That kind of money would mean independence, and could conceivabley change my life.

I stuck up my nose and took on a mock British accent. "What would you have me wear?", I snuffed, factious. "Versace? Vera Wang? Prada?" As if I could. He shook his head. I laughed, quickly humbled. "Bart's bargain bin of fashion?" He shook his head again. "Swimsuits?"

"Paint." He said.

"PAINT?" I repeated.

"Paint, mud and body oil", he said. "It's a nude calendar." I had my mouth open in shock so long I sucked in a fly.

"Nude?" I sputtered. "I don't do nude." I can barely do nude in the privacy of my own bathtub.

"But you should", he smiled. "You have a fantastic body. You could make a sick amount of money." And I could give my Grandmother a coronary. A specifically nude calendar could change my life...It could change my image, but for the worse....Only a hop, skip and jump away from porn it may reduce my reputation to that of a brainless piece of ass. And I'd like to think I am worth much more than the sum of my parts.

I also recently received a contract offer from a competitor of world famous Victoria's Secret. They want to hire me to model lingerie in their new catalogue-offering me two grand per day for approximately two weeks work.

"Maybe you are out of your mind!", Debbie exclaimed, flabberghasted. "How could you turn that all down?"

"Do it!", my boyfriend Anthony urges.

"You WANT me to do it?", I responded, surprised.

"Why not?"

"Because!", I stammered, trying to think of something. "Oh, you just want to tell your buddies you're going out with a lingerie model!"

"Hell yeah!" he admits. "And, you can buy me a motorcycle."

While he may dream of a leather and lace clad singing sugar mama, I am just not sure I as an inexperienced young woman -who hasn't the guts to wear such accoutrement for him in private -can muster up the courage to prance around near naked for strangers. My faithless family doubts the legitimacy of any of this.

"So, you think you can model?" Tanya taunted. "Is it an ad for an animal feed store?"

"I didn't say I thought I could model", I corrected. "I said, I've been asked to model." I must admit I have a hard time believing it myself. Me. A Model. If someone had told me years ago I would one day be asked to do so I would have socked them for the taunt. I have a small stack of such job requests but I'm reluctant to do anything so risque. I'm tempted by the potential pay--really, really tempted, not to mention by the festering desire to shut my sister up and good, but I lack the confidence for this kind of gig. Nudity and near-nudity means revealing all of me, all of my flaws, real or imagined. It's just that when I look into the mirror I don't see what the big deal is. I see the blemish. I see the thick thighs. I see the slightly crooked nose that sooner belongs on a 300 lb boxer. ...I remember the me of my youth--that twiggy brace-faced blonde with a bad perm and an even more ghastly wardrobe. I have not yet grown into the new me.

Am I really the prudest pop singer on planet earth?


Early, 1994 The Stalker At Large


We had several errands to run so Ian dropped me off in front of one shopping center while he drove on to a second. He would be back shortly. As I began crossing the parking lot towards one store, a blue sedan slowed to a crawl alongside me.

"Melody!", called the older, dark-haired man within. Naturally, I turned around to see who beckoned. The face didn't seem familiar. "I love you! I've loved you for years."

"Why, thank you", I smiled, thinking he was merely a fan who recognized me. (Hey, it could happen...couldn't it?) "Have a nice day!" I would like to think I'm kind to anyone who is kind to me, and I am truly touched when people take the time to tell me they think anything of me or my work, but something about this particular man disturbed me. I couldn't put my finger one it but whatever it was propelled me forward. A sixth sense, an uneasiness that rattled my nerves and settled in my stomach. He continued to follow as I walked.

"I love you so much", he repeated.

"You don't know me", I responded, keeping my pace.

"Oh yes I do", he informed me. "I know you better than you think." I was temporarily hindered by a line of cars. "You're involved with Ian Crawford." This was hardly a national secret. But this stranger seemed all to acquainted with more private aspects of my personal life. "Your best friends are Valerie, Debbie, Joyce and Angela."

"How do you know them?" I wondered aloud, turned to briefly face the man.

"I can't tell you that", he smiled-a tad too confidently. "But that's not all I know." He then began reciting the rundown of not only my career efforts to date but my most intimate secrets. He knew about my search for my birth parents. He knew about my illness-both physical and emotional and confronted me with my fears. He'd memorized not only my given name, but my birthday, my address and phone number, my favorite EDIT everything and-even more concerning-could name every man I've ever been involved with. Now, this was hardly a long litany of lovers but that he knew of the few encounters blew me away.

"Who are you?" I demanded. "How do you know all of this?"

"I have my ways", he said smugly responded. Where was he? Perched in a nearby tree with a telescopic lens facing my bedroom window? With his words came the startling realization that this man was not a fan, nor a friend but a stalker-who I now had every reason to believe had been trailing me for some time. He tossed a business card onto the pavement which I cautiously retrieved. He was in fact a private investigator by trade and the advertisement touted his talents at obtaining confidential social security and government information, bugging, wire-tapping, surveillance and counter-surveillance, in addition to providing videotape evidence. I gasped, clutching my chest and crept back. My life flashed before my eyes.

"What do you want?!", I cried. I didn't want to imagine his demands. "I don't have any money!" Alas, tiz true.

"GET IN", he insisted, swinging open the door. "We'll talk." He reached for me, keeping one hand on the wheel. "Come here!"

"No!", I screamed, scrambling further away. What he wanted were the two things he hadn't already stolen. My body, and my soul.

"I love you more than Ian", he stated. "He doesn't deserve you." Speaking of Ian, where the hell was he? Why did I let him drive away without me?

"Go away!", I pleaded, tearing through parked vehicles. He slammed the door, peeled around a corner and cut me off. "Help!"

More Continues with Ian's return... When we went to pick Tom up from the hospital following back surgery. The line "I should warn you...We're probably being followed" and "Man...", Tom (Benedict, of Time-Warner/Electra Records) responded, misunderstanding. "Must be a slow news day!"

Text to fill in here, followed by:

I feel violated. I can find no safe space-not even inside my own heart and head anymore. I can't relax. I sought the advice of a friend in the NYPD.

"Can you afford to hire a bodyguard?" he asked.

"No!", I laughed. Look around, I thought. This was Hardly a room in the Hilton.

"Well I would suggest taking some precaution", he advised. "I wouldn't be caught alone." And so I will be staying with Ian for a while.



Spring, 1994



Although my pulmonary histoplasmosis appears to be in remission, I am left weakened in both breath and body. My left lung is left forever scarred. I must strain to sing. With time and practice I may regain my full range but may never fully enjoy the powerful volume for which I am known. I now have asthma, triggered by the usual things: allergens, exercise, cold air and strong emotions. Lucky me. Whatever you do, don't make me laugh. Don't make me cry. It might just kill me.

Despite this admittedly discouraging setback I am not giving up. I do not believe God would bless me with dance and music only to render me unable to use them. I don't believe I should be given these talents only to have them taken from me before I have fully realized my potential. I am sick, I am scared, I am too often taken off track but I am not a quitter. I will sing again. It is all I know...


Late 1990's or early 2000


People have occasionally asked me what inspires my songwriting and in general it is my own experiences or emotions, at times specific and at others embellished. Sometimes my subject matter is drawn from the trials or triumphs of others, as is in the case of "Temptation"-which deals with the all too common human vulnerability to addiction, alcoholism and sexual indiscretion. I considered Pedro's cursed cocaine and narcotic usage; Jonny's excessive drinking, Adrian's insatiable desire for money, which led him to deal drugs. I pondered my birth mother's heroin addiction and subsequent prostitution. I had in the back of my mind Angela's struggle to find herself, and pin down her preference. How daunting it is to be human. I considered my own struggle with mental illness... I want to be strong, healthy, happy-perfect before the world and I am so pitifully not so...Through my own actions and those of others I have tasted alcohol, known a contact high and been far too easy to seduce and unnerve at vulnerable times in my life. It is a dangerous a line each of us dances in life-tempted to sin and courting disaster. It is through conscious decision that I have not myself fallen into it.

Though I doubt he ever knew, perhaps most integral to the development of this particular song is the plight of talented but tortured Stone Temple Pilots front man Scott Weiland. It was a twenty minute online chat we had not long ago that first got me thinking about writing "Temptation". Among other things, he spoke with me quite candidly about his now public heroin addiction.

"I really didn't know what I was getting into", he admits. "I had no idea how vulnerable I was to this sort of thing." He is honest, down to earth, needlessly ashamed of how it's had him and how he feels he's let the band and its fans down.

"For whatever it's worth, Scott", I attempted to comfort him, "I will always believe in you. You've already identified the problem and are actively working towards freedom from it, so in that regard you're already ahead of the game." I don't know how I thought myself qualified to give out such advice, but I in my own way can understand his struggle. Though heroin and anxiety are entirely different things and I am hardly the well-known performer he is, the result of our struggles is the same-a lessened ability to use ones gifts. And I am as embarrassed by my own illness. It pains me to admit to suffering the way I do. But such are the realities of life. We deal with them because we have no other choice but to do so. Scott doesn't strike me as a man likely to lie down on the battlefield and I daresay, nor am I. "Let me know if there's anything I can ever do to help you in any way...even if it's just to gripe about a bad day. I care." He is determined to return to music.

I haven't spoken to him since, but there are signs that he may be winning his battle with substance abuse.. He is now touted in the music news as being back in "superstar form" and I applaud him.

On a professional note, he'd referred me to his record label. Even with everything going on in his life he still makes time to help others when he can and while I hate to trouble him-especially now, I appreciate his kindness.

"If they won't take you, send your music on to me at Lush [his new label]", he offered. "I'll do what I can."



Thursday, April 14, 1992 Striking a Pose



With my press kit I'm going to send Shanti a photo or two from my most recent portfolio. My friend Jen-who is a professional photographer and television camerawoman offered to set up the shoot for me. She decided I needed a stronger, sexier 'street' image-one that would reflect my age and attitude. I am now 21 and writing more provocative material.

"Are you trying to give my mother a heart attack?" I questioned, looking over the wardrobe she and Angela set aside. "Her eyes are going to fall out." We decided upon an ensemble that included hip-hugging baby blue jeans, a black lace bustier and a studded black leather motorcycle jacket and boots. "Wow.", I laughed, looking in the long mirror provided me. "I look dangerous!" Dangerous to spiders everywhere. So watch out!

I was posed upon rusty old steps in a graffitied alleyway, perched atop the hood of a brand new shiny white sports car-my now waist-length wavy blonde hair blowing in the wind. They had me ambling alongside railroad tracks in the heated haze of a passing train, standing in the window of an old clothing outlet and climbing the base of a light pole on the corner of a busy intersection-arms outstretched to embrace the world. People gathered from neighboring streets to see what we were doing, following as we made our way along-camera's flashing away.

"What must people think?" I staggered.

"They think you're a star!", Jen exclaimed. "And I'm not going to tell them any different!"



April 1, 1993?? Another April Fool's Day



The prankster that I am, I seldom pass up an opportunity to josh those I love. Luckily my boyfriend has an ample sense of humor.

"I'm pregnant", I told 19 year old Jeremy, who turned to me straight-faced.

"Sure you are", he responded, not buying a word of it. "It's April fool's day."

"Oh, you're no fun."

"Wait", he said, thinking for a moment. "Is this what you were hoping for?" And then he dropped like a sack of potatoes in one loud thump onto the wooden foyer floor. "There. I'm shocked."

"Very good", I applauded, staring down at him smiling.

"Shocked."

"Yeah, I got that."

"SHOCKED."

It wasn't long ago when this scenario was less fiction and not nearly as funny. I was two weeks late for my period and we began to quietly wonder whether I was in fact pregnant. No form of birth control is 100% effective. Jeremy didn't fall over in shock that day, when we were forced to consider how our lives might change in the very near future. He held me and stared somberly into my eyes.

"I'm only nineteen", he whispered. "I'm not ready." Three years older but no more prepared, I agreed. But what was done was done, we reasoned and we took the potential responsibility seriously. "How are we going to handle this?" He could have run, could have denied ever being with me. Could have done a number of things out of fear but he didn't. He promised to stand by me whatever the outcome and I felt confident I could count on him.

"I'm not sure yet", I admitted. "Let's make sure there's going to be a baby first."

I wasn't pregnant. And we were so relieved we threw a private party, but it was a wake-up call. You can't be too careful. We were ready to make love but weren't ready for parenthood. And In this age of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted or premature pregnancy isn't the worst outcome young lovers risk with intimacy. None of us is untouchable, immune to passion and all of its possible repercussions.

"Really, really SHOCKED", Jeremy repeated, still sprawled out on the floor.

"You hurt yourself doing that, didn't you?"

"Yes."

And so I helped him to his feet and hugged him. I have me a good man. A good man with a bruised butt.

"Poor thing."

----

Friday, October 3, 2003 It Only Hurts When I Try To Dance

I knew it was bad. The subject line read: Re: Sad News: Bylli Crayone in Critical Crash.

"No!" I cried, clicking to read on. "NO!"

--------

EMAIL FROM MARCIA DELANEY OF LAWTOWN MEDIA:

Tonight at approximately 11:30 pm. on his way to a Boston Night Club, Bylli Crayone was stuck by a car. He was in the passenger seat of a friend's car. Bylli is currently in the Hospital unconscious. Your blessings are welcomed. Let's pray for Bylli and hope he makes it. This is a very sad time for Zipit Records, LawTown Music, and the Fans, Family & Friends of Bylli Crayone".

--------

My entire body went into shock, my heart pounding within me. I staggered back. "He can't die!" He has too much to live for. Four frightened children. A multitude of now frantic friends. A million fans calling the Crayone hotline and flooding the message boards with the news. A music career that has only just gone over the top. The last time we spoke was last week, upon his return from a three countries in two days trip that left his jetlagged but excited. He was so excited in fact that he couldn't wait until he got home to share with me the most wonderful news.

"I'm now number one on the UK dance club chart!" he exclaimed. "I can't believe it! I arrived in London and didn't even realize how well my album was doing over there. I've been in the top ten for 7 weeks and yesterday I hit number one! I must have done a dozen interviews all over England."

"Oh Bylli!", I shrieked. "Finally the break you've been waiting for! I knew you could do it honey!"

"I am soooo tired", he admitted. "I can barely keep my eyes open but I had to tell you. You were the first person I called!"

"Really?" I wowed, touched.

"Oh, Melody, I never in a million years expected such a reception!"

"I bet!", I smiled. "But you deserve it. You are the hardest working person in music I have ever encountered." He and Ian, perhaps.

"I am so happy!" he sighed.

"Me too", I smiled. "Thank you for sharing the news!"

"I'll call you again tomorrow when I've had some sleep!"

And now for all I know he's dead. I'm floored by the suddenness, the injustice. I don't want to lose one of my now closest friends. (He's one of the coolest cats I know.) All I wanted was to go to his bedside, call and comfort him, but I couldn't even determine which hospital he was taken to. I must have called every one in Boston and the outlying area. I lay awake in bed thinking of him, clinging to Michael and drying the tears as they trickled down my face and onto the pillow. Then came a troubling realization.

"My gosh", I stammered. "If he doesn't pull through ....I'll have to write his.... obituary...." Okay, the downside of being a person's publicist is apparent.

People have been bombarding me with e-mails and IMs asking me for information regarding his condition but I am ashamed to admit that while I am his publicist and am supposed to be privy to such I am as uninformed as everyone else. From Oklahoma I could find little out over the phone. Pray. All we can do is Pray and wait to hear something from someone.


Two days later (THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS BTW.)


7 a.m. Monday morning. BYLLI CALLED ME, in transit returning home following his release from Boston General Hospital.

"Bylli!", I screamed. "Thank God you're alive!" He was knocked out and messed up his leg but was otherwise spared any serious injuries. Just a few bumps, bruises and a scraped up face.

"Nothing that won't heal", he said, ever positive. "I just need to rest."

At Bylli's request, I made the first public announcement upon his return home from the Hospital, which I posted online. He was shocked to learn the media had made it sound as though he might not pull through from what was referred to as a "critical accident" from which he might not survive.

"Please, assure the fans I am alright", he urged me. "I am overwhelmed by their concern. He's blown away by the outpouring of love. He'd received more than 400 e-mails, get well cards, bouquets of flowers and calls from well-wishers world wide , including Rosie O'Donnell, Taylor Dayne, Johnny O, Boy George, Tommy Paige, Tom Green, Lil Suzy and RuPaul. "I had no idea people cared so much", he added to me in confidence. "It's a shame something like this had to happen to realize that. I can't thank everyone enough for standing by me during this time.'

"You scared the crap out of me!", I whispered, relieved to hear his voice. "Collectively we shot so many bricks we could build you a condominium.

"Sorry", he chuckled softly.

"You're not allowed to get hurt anymore", I informed him. "I mean it. No paper cuts, no tummy aches and so help me if you as much as stub a toe..."

"I'll try to avoid oncoming traffic from now on", he promised.

"See that you do", I scolded. "You nearly killed me too, with worry." Now, he knew I was being facetious. "We just love you and don't want to lose you."


October 9, 2003


"I've got a party in my pants and you've got a V.I.P. pass", Bylli opened, on the phone.

"I bet you do", I snorted, laughing. "Are you coming on to me?"

"How is that for a song title?"

That's Bylli. Always pushing the envelope. His last album (which included club hits "Touch Me All Over" and "Drop Those Pants") had tails and tongues wagging. Today there was a big spat at the fan club site today over his sexuality. "People are debating whether or not you're gay or straight." I informed him.

"What did you tell them?"

"You've got to be kidding", I responded. "I'm not touching that one with a ten foot mic stand." Blatantly bi, this father of four whose most popular in the gay abars thinks it's funny how no one can quite figure him out. I decided to tell them if they can corner you in your bedroom they can ask you." What followed were several posts from people more than willing to take up the challenge.", I told him. "Not even I can clean it up!"

If everything goes as planned, I'll be appearing as the jilted girlfriend who harasses him on a single for his new album, "Girl, hang it up!" We spend so much time talking, planning, brain-storming, dreaming of creating a successful company together. We laugh about the silly stuff in our lives and comfort one another during the trying times. He is a true friend, always making time to listen. I really care about him.

"Isn't it amazing how close we are now?" he sighed.

"Isn't it amazing how I'm always cast as the jilted girlfriend?" I teased. It is amazing what good friends we have become, considering we've never actually been in the same room together.

"Weird and wonderful," we agree.


1993? Ian Crawford & Julia

Ian dates the world's most desirable women. He'll be dining with Madonna Friday. He'll be with *Julia Savon on Saturday-indeed the former supermodel turned Record Company exec, the ex of a well known singer. It's hard to keep my jealousy in check. I know I am out-gunned in every department. I know when it comes to Ian I am a fluke.

"Do you think they're sleeping together?", I hesitantly inquired of Ian's friend Alec, staring out the car window as Ian ran inside to fetch her.

"Of course they are', he responded. "She's a knockout."

"Shit", I groaned, my eyes reduced to jealous little slits as she emerged, dressed to the nines and arm in arm with Ian. I'm not naive, only hopeful it wasn't what it appeared. She is a drop dead gorgeous older redhead, well known record exec, Ian's new manager, and likely his new lover. He's spent the past two weeks with with her at her house and well, she's all over him like white on rice. "Shit shit shit." It took him a minute to figure it out but when he did, Alex sprang up and down like puppy with the morning paper.

"You're in love with him!", he gasped. I merely looked at him, miserable. "You ARE! Does he know?"

"It doesn't matter", I whispered shrugging. "I'm sure I'm just another fling to him."

"You don't know that!", he reminded me. "Did you ever ask him if he wanted something more serious?" Again, I shrugged.

"Why would he want me when he has her?" I grumbled.

"Yeah, she is pretty amazing", he admitted. "But you shouldn't sell yourself short. You're pretty amazing too."

"Thanks", I sighed, as Ian opened the front door and I got out, sliding into the back to make room for this goddess of a girl. Alec patted me on the back.

"I think you should tell him."Yeah, and I should stick my head in the toilet too.


Alone later, I finally began expressing my upsettment to Ian.

"What the fuck are you doing with me?" I asked him, straight up. I think my directness surprised him.

"What do you mean, what am I doing with you?" he questioned. "I love you."

"Then what the fuck are you doing with Julia?", I asked.

"She's cool. I like her a lot." She's provided for his every need, including a limo, limitless credit card, all the perks a prominent manager provides. I all but accused him of sleeping his way to the proverbial top. You can't get much higher up than the likes of *Julia Savon. With all of his talent and charistma, he is one man who doesn't need to suck up to anyone. He's doing her a favor just allowing her to represent him, in my humble opinion.


"I know what I'm doing", he told me, both serious and sure. "What I do with Julia hasn't anything to do with us." I laughed.

"Gad, you're typical, I muttered, shaking my head. Men. Can't live with them. Can't send them flaming off a cliff and later claim you were at the library studying up on Freuds theorys about penis envy for a test in your 'Men in Media' college class. But I digress.

"You know what you mean to me."

"Do I?"I responded. "What am I to you?"

"You're my girl."

"Until someone like Julia comes along." I seethed. "But who am I anyway, right?"

"You're more influential than you think", he informed me.
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