Right Here Waiting
After frequenting a local haunt where nobody knows his name, a Chicago writer makes new friends, rips on Richard Marx online, and then suddenly lands a real live celebrity musician at their door.
“Wow,” I told my sister. “Richard Marx is blowing up my inbox.”
I called my editor.
“I’ve been getting emails from some guy who says he’s Richard Marx,” I said. “I think it’s an impostor. The only thing that makes me think it might really be Richard Marx is that it’s from an AOL account.”
The next day, my editor told me he’d traced the emails to a MySpace account with the same tag.
Except the emails hadn’t been coming from a guy with a MySpace account. They were actually from Richard Marx. How do I know? Because I received this tweet from Richard Marx’s verified Twitter account[.]
“Richard Marx is totally calling me out on Twitter,” I told my editor.
“Just ignore it,” he said. “It’ll blow over.”
“I’m not going to ignore it. I’m not going to look wimpier than the guy who wrote ‘Right Here Waiting.’ He says he’ll meet me anywhere in the city.”
So I emailed Richard Marx, inviting him to meet me at seven the next evening at the Lighthouse. Then I went down to the bar to prepare the boys for Richard Marx’s arrival. I wanted a posse behind me when he walked in the door. Vinko and Paddy, our token Irishman, were sitting at the end of the bar, next to the beer cooler. We looked up Richard Marx on Billy the bartender’s laptop and starting slagging him.
“You should send him an email and tell him you’ll be right here waiting for him,” Paddy suggested.
I got to the Lighthouse an hour early. By 6:45, I had half a dozen guys behind me: Vinko, Paddy, Billy, Aquaman, Brian, and Mike. Nobody wanted to miss Richard Marx. By 7:15, Billy had left the bar, convinced Richard Marx wasn’t going to show.
Then someone spotted a black Jaguar rolling down Chase Ave. I looked out the window. Billy was walking back up the street, alongside Richard Marx. I had steeled myself for this confrontation by drinking an entire pint of light beer. Richard Marx didn’t get two steps past the door before a guy at the bar stuck out his hand and said, “Hey Richard, good to see you.” I waved to let Richard Marx know I was the guy who had called him shameless.