The Story of Us: Mimes and Maker’s Mark

The first time I ever saw Clark, he was on TV. Unfortunately, he wasn’t posing as a body double for a Phoenix cologne commercial {although you could, Sweetheart… you absolutely could}. He was rocking a Muse tune for about 400 middle schoolers and I was watching him  from a backstage monitor. The stage was on fire. Not literally {although one time we were on a stage that did catch fire. Another story for another day perhaps.} What I mean is that his stage persona was nothing short of magnetic. However, I was only slightly distracted by the Ode to the Troll that had taken up residence on top of his head. When I tell you that his hair stood 5-6 inches on end, I am not exaggerating. Although it was sort of Vanilla Ice meets the Bride of Frankenstein, it just… worked on him, and on me apparently because I instantly began asking around about the guitar player with the Fur-ocious hair. I learned that his name was Clark Beasley. He lived in Nashville. He played for rock bands and country bands. He drove a gutted Dodge minivan {which obviously meant he must be good with children….helloooo?} The reality was that he filled that buggy to the ceiling with enough guitar amps and pedalboards to keep a small pawn shop in business. Most importantly, he was single. Woot. Woot.

I soon learned that he was staying with my girlfriend and her husband in their basement when he was in town on business. Their home had turned into some sort of suburban hostel for starving artists. It was not unusual for them to host four or five musicians at one time, which was especially convenient for a girl who took a particular liking to guitar players with high maintenance hair dos. One day the innkeeper for the Travelling Troubadour Bed and Breakfast called me on the phone and said…

“I have your husband living in my basement”.

“Huh?”

She proceeded to tell me that once we actually met and started dating, she gave it five months tops before we were engaged. She was so sure, in fact, that she began sketching designs for my bridal gown and commissioning her mother to hand-sew my wedding veil. I asked her if she saw any winning numbers in that crystal ball of hers, but all she saw was basque waist and ivory tulle. I hadn’t had a date since the Marine reached over and cut my meat, so needless to say, I was more than willing to check out what had suddenly turned my friend into a modern day prophetess.

Our initial interaction was fairly limited. Clark and I saw each other at shows or out with big groups of friends….most of which had way cooler hair and took way more fashion risks {and got away with them} than myself. It did not take long for me to notice that Clark Beasley wasn’t your average guitar player. I’m not just referring to the hush that would fall over a room full of musicians whenever his name would come up. One time I actually heard one of his bandmates {who was a guy} say, “Gosh, I’d marry him if he asked me.” Clark has always been respected for his talent and I admit, I do love that. But as capable as he was, there was something genuine in his eyes and brilliantly understated about the way he carried himself. He wasn’t like every other guy I knew who advertised every song they wrote or gig they landed. Dude, we don’t care about your latest endorsement with Proactiv. Let’s face it. You wash your shot glass collection more than you wash your face, so who are we kidding, really? All I knew was that I wanted Clark Beasley to take me out on a date. So before I considered having an airplane tow an “Ask Me Out and I Will Say Yes” banner or risk him getting any further marriage proposal from his bandmates, I dropped a subtle hint to my innkeeper friend.

Five months later…

I was still entertaining the Commitment-Phobe World Traveler with late night Vinho do Porto and Damien Rice O singles, but that was fast approaching its expiration date. I had not entirely ruled out the aerial advertisement option to landing a date with Clark Beasley, but after five months, a girl can start to wonder. And then, the Bermuda triangle. In one week’s time, I lost my cubicle job {we can all just give a big round of “Hallelujah” for that life promotion}, booked a trip to South America, and came down with the  worst head cold and subsequent laryngitis in the history of the world. One night, I’m lying in bed sipping on hot tea spiked with way more bourbon than a newly laid off church worker should morally consume. And then the phone rings. It is Clark Beasley. I am screaming a completely inaudible “No! No! Not now!!!” at the glowing Nashville area code wanting desperately to answer the call, but not quite sure which of my conditions would be harder to explain– my new tele-mime routine or my Maker’s Mark moment. A few days later, I was still a candidate for bourbon therapy, but I was just conversational enough to accept this long-awaited date with Clark Beasley. I warned him that my sniffle may slightly interfere with my usual charm, but he said he would take his chances.

On March 22, 2005, Clark Beasley showed up at my apartment, not a strand of Troll doll hair out of place, wearing a collared shirt {which is a huge deal for a musician}, carrying two cans of Campbell’s chicken soup.

And that’s where it all began.

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2 Comments

  1. Alexis Rice said,

    January 30, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    ta-da! it is SOOOO hard for me to resist saying “i told you so” 🙂 i LOVE this story so so very much, and both of you.
    Love,
    the Innkeeper

  2. Cami said,

    January 31, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    I have loved the REALNESS of the last few posts about meeting and falling in love with Clark! So precious! Keep it coming!


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