There is a certain awkwardness in introducing one’s beloved to one’s musical icon.
When Penny (aka Duchess) and I met, she was inexplicably unaware of the magnificence of both college basketball and Leonard Cohen. As our affections grew, I intuitively recognized my moral responsibility to rectify these cultural lacunae in her otherwise impeccable aesthetic database.
Duke basketball games and Leonard Cohen’s music consequently became integral elements in the wooing of The Duchess. Together, in fact, they go a long way toward explaining why she chose me when she could have done so much better.
Near the end of 2010 when our courtship began, Coach Krzyzewski’s charges were, as NCAA basketball teams are wont to do, making frequent, scheduled appearances, many of which were televised. Leonard Cohen & The Unified Heart Touring Company, on the other hand, were then completing three years of concerts with no promise the tour would resume soon – or ever.
A bit of advice to those of you in the dating pool – apparently, suggesting to a potential heartthrob that flying to Las Vegas to attend the final show of the Leonard Cohen Tour would be a dandy first date puts one at risk of being considered presumptuous or even pushy. And, it turns out, implying that a meeting with the Canadian singer-songwriter-icon backstage would not be totally outside the realm of possibility does not improve that assessment.
In any case, Penny turned down the Las Vegas offer. Happily, recordings of Cohen’s music and videos of his performances were sufficiently effective in advancing my romantic agenda.
In fact, by the time my allusions to a backstage meeting with Leonard were made manifest at the 2012 Austin show, the Duchess had already taken on the secondary title of Mrs DrHGuy.
Make no mistake – the Austin encounter was a big hit and resulted in the accrual of many marital benefits, a number of which are illegal in North Carolina, for yours truly.
It also, however, raised expectations. Most recently, Penny became invested in achieving Kissing Cohen status (for the uninitiated, Kissing Cohen was a photo category on the late, lamented DrHGuy.com site that featured – well, pictures of Leonard kissing and being kissed).
Consequently, the invitation to visit with Leonard Cohen and Kezban Özcan in Los Angeles in August 2014 was viewed as an opportunity to earn membership in that esteemed fellowship. And, indeed, during the mutual greeting when we first arrived at Leonard’s home, smooches were exchanged between sweetie and singer-songwriter.
Alas, there is no photographic record of the kissing and, since Kissing Cohen is, after all, a photo gallery, Duchess is still not part of the official collection. She is, of course, still on a contact high from spending time with Leonard Cohen, and I am hopeful that her disappointment about the failure to obtain the desired photo will be mollified by this posted attestation that said osculation took place and that, as demonstrated in the above photo, Leonard seems happy about it.
Credit Due Department: Photo by Kezban Özcan
I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). This entry was originally posted Aug 21, 2014 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com.