When you look at the world through this lens, it is easy to forgive Jared Leto for forming a band. It is even easier to forgive him for giving it a lame-ass name like 30 Seconds to Mars (Lando, watch out for that Dogstar! We only have 30 more seconds to Mars!). But, really ... what is with that band name? Is it, like, in the future, we will be able to get from Earth to Mars, like, really fast? Or, like, is he, like, talking about neutrinos, which travel really rapidly through space with, like, a half-integer spin and left-handed chirality (rendering them therefore fermion)? Dude, I dunno.
All I know is my alternate reality. I am Angela Chase from My So-Called Life, and Jordan Catalano has invited me to go see his band the Frozen Embryos, and I have been on the pill in case he finally makes his move. He is quiet and withdrawn in a sexy, ex-con kind of way, but occasionally he seems to notice me. I can read nothing behind his eyes, which I take to be a good sign. At least I haven't been rejected. I fantasize about sitting with him on my parent's sofa when they aren't home. I am helping him learn how to read, as he is functionally illiterate and I am the only person he has ever trusted with this information. I still can't believe he is there, in my house, reading Horton Hears a Who, albeit stiltedly, and only after I turn the book right side up. We reach the book's second zany couplet and our eyes meet. He tosses the book over his shoulder and presses me into the cushions. Zany coupling ensues.
"Dude, this is really testing my sobriety," interrupts my friend Michelle, who has been kind enough to come with me to the recent 30 Seconds to Mars concert at the Great American Music Hall. She is referring to the opening band, Men Women and Children, who had just asked the audience to scream, "I'm a monkey! I'm a monkey! I'm a monkey!" For those keeping track, this band had also worked "San Francisco!" into their spiel about nine times ("How you doin' San Francisco!" etc.).
Once they finished, I took in the crowd to see just who else was there to try and score with Jordan Catalano. The answer was obvious: legions of babes, a smatter of gay guys, and a few straight boys who were on the 30 Seconds' Street Team. My odds were good. I wore mascara and stood stage left, directly in Jared's field of vision once he hit the stage. I had on jeans and a hoodie, not obvious ho-wear like all the other hopefuls. I was wearing something appropriate for a caring friend visiting someone in the hospital once his arm was amputated due to a severe infection brought on by shooting up. Plus, you could still make out my boobies, which rival Lindsay Lohan's and Scarlett Johansson's any day.
We waited for a full 45 minutes for the headliner to come out. Even the girl next to me, who joked that she wanted to borrow my drool cup once Jordan hit the stage, was getting pissed off. "What the fuck???" yelled out a group of women to my right at the empty stage.
Here's something important to know about Jared Leto's band. They will never play anywhere that bills them as "Jared Leto's band." You see, it is all about the music. They don't want to play on his fame. So the fact that we had to wait forever for them should not be construed as movie/rock star posturing. Also, the fact that once the lights came down we had to sit through roaming klieg lights, a bombastic Mozart requiem, some Omen soundbytes, and the eventual arrival of all of the bandmembers to the stage except Jared ... all this doesn't mean that this band is self-important and all about him. That said, when he finally came out, my stomach rose to my throat and I shivered. Holy shit, he is better looking in person than on film. He was wearing a black hoodie (See?! I knew we spoke each other's unspoken language!) and a black baseball hat. His hood was up over the hat, but I could see his eyeliner and that fucking impossible smile. Jared Leto has the best goddamn smile I have ever seen on a boy. Music-schmusic (and with this band, believe me, the music ist ser ser schmusic!). This was the Jared Leto show and I had front-row tix, babycakes! It was Angela and Jordan in the school basement, makin' out by the boiler room!
"Oh God!" moaned the girl next to me. She obviously hadn't noticed that he had looked at me like five times already. Jordan I mean Jared slung his guitar and deigned to touch the front row occasionally, all the while with a rock star's swagger. He was acting. He was a phony. His band is mediocre at best. But he is really a specimen to behold, so who cares.
An amazing thing happened at the end of the night. When the Frozen Embryos were on their last song, he motioned for me to come up on stage. All of the girls in the crowd gasped. I could see a flash in Tino's face, like he was jealous that Jordan got me first. He sang "Rat Bastard Beach Party" to me, only to me, ME! And then whispered that he wanted to just get out of this place. Could I have the car ready? He didn't care where it was we went, as long as it was quiet and there was a full Dr. Seuss library. He would massage my feet for having to stand there for so long before they came on. Then he softly pressed the side of his face into mine and whispered into my ear. I could smell his sweet breath. He said something that made my heart melt, those words I had always longed to hear come from his perfect bowed lips as they tickled my ear: "Katy, you will never have to hear my band again."