I came early enough to get a decent place to see my female hero. I was standing in the second row, a bit to the left. I know for sure that if you would have been here, you wouldn’t allow us to be anywhere else but in the middle of the first one.
While we were waiting for her to come out, I was watching an older couple standing right next to me. They were wearing summer hats and colourful clothes. He brought one piece of pizza and they sat on the ground to share their sophisticated dinner. There was exactly one green pepperoni on top of it. He took it and ate exactly half of it, handing the other one to his wife. I smiled and we started talking. They told me they have already seen Patti in Berlin in the 80’ and that back then she was so drunk that they were waiting till 2.a.m. till she was able to sing.
Most of the people were more from the age category of my parents or Patti herself than mine. A colourful crowd of grown-up hippies wearing black t-shirts with ‘Just Kids’ printed on the back.
There were white roses all around the drums. Fresh white roses. Patti came out, simple and beautiful. She was wearing a white t-shirt and classic black jacket with old black jeans. Her hair is perfectly grey, curly and long. Despite of her age she emanates with life joy and strength. She said she loves to get lost in the streets of Berlin. I love that too, Patti.
I was watching her and thinking how incredible it is that this woman is exactly the same girl who was sleeping in the streets of New York, who was homeless and lost, who loved Robert and wrote poems in a dirty room in the Chelsea Hotel.
Patti did not skip her legendary song saying ‘People have the power’. By the end she mentioned that the 40’ anniversary of Elvis Presley’s passing was tomorrow. She sang the wonderful ‘I can’t help falling in love with you’ lyric and the older couple next to me hugged instinctively when the romantic tune came out.
While she was singing I realized that without asking my permission my right eye started to pour some single tears into the ground. So I was standing in the second row a bit to the left and I was crying, tiny little bit. I was crying because she was so wonderful, I was crying because in my mind we were supposed to see her together and I was crying because I was thinking that at the age of 24 I should significantly reduce the abundance of hopeless romanticism that I am equipped with and put my shit together.
Thank you Patti Smith for living the life the way you did, for making it immortal within your books, for coming to Berlin, for singing your heart out. I remember you said in one of your books that you wanted to write and not to sing and that you actually didn’t like it. Thank God you have changed your mind!
“For life is the best thing we have in this existence. And if we should desire to believe in something, it should be a beacon within. This beacon being the sun, sea, and sky, our children, our work, our companions and, most simply put, the embodiment of love.”
*Fun Fact: Patti likes to spit on the stage from time to time while she sings.