There are a lot of things I could say in the wake of the final performance of Hair ‘09’s Original Broadway Cast. I could talk about how, on some of the toughest days in the last year of my life, that show made me feel happy again. I could talk about all the reasons it was a wonderful, uplifting, almost perfectly-executed revival of a show that is maybe light on traditional substance. I could talk about the amazing renaissance in my theater-loving life it has inspired. But honestly, you’ve heard all that before, from Lucky & me and a million other people and places across the published universe. So why say it again? We’re not into regurgitating the obvious here. And that leaves me only one thing to say, one thing that hasn’t already been said: I have an enormous crush on Steel Burkhardt. Enormous.
There’s nothing like being in your mid-to-late twenties and having the most ridiculous crush of your entire life to remind you of what it was like to be fourteen. Not only because at twenty-five (ahem) plus a few years, it seems really silly to have a raging crush on a man I don’t know, but also because this particular breed of crush is of the sort that makes me feel like an awkward teenager again. The sort that strikes me dumb and socially inept in a way no crush has managed to do in over a decade.
Case in point: last night’s stage-door, after the final @HairTribe OBC performance, where I failed to think of even one appropriate thing to say to Steel when he finally emerged. I stood there and my heart pounded and I watched as he beamed that gorgeous smile of his at girl after girl after girl, and I did nothing. I couldn’t. I was a black hole of brain-fart.
I literally cannot tell you the last time something like that happened to me. I’m a champion eye-fucker, lip-biter and hair flipper (a particularly effective move when you have distinctive hair like mine). And as this site may or may not already demonstrate, I will say pretty much anything, usually to anyone.
But last night, Steel Burkhardt struck me completely dumb. Welcome to my life ten+ years ago.
This is especially ironic because—as Lucky can surely attest—for several months now I have talked a veritable blue-streak about Steel. A Steel-Streak. In fact, if you’ve been anywhere near me since December, you’ve probably heard it. You heard it even if you didn’t know you were hearing it at the time because—once again, just like in Junior High—I’d concocted a code-name for Steel that made me feel slightly less stupid if I developed verbal diarrhea in an embarrassing location, like, say, 45th Street. Around these parts, Steel is lately known as ‘The Dirty Jerz,’ or, for short, ‘The Jerz.’
Since December 7th (yes, I remember the date exactly, stfu) I have waxed poetic about The Jerz’s beautiful eyes—a stunning but baffling color I’ve never gotten quite close enough to identify exactly—his incredible cheekbones, every single ripple in his washboard abs, the obvious power and grace of his amazing thighs and rear end, which look particularly stunning in jeans, and the way just the sight of him makes my lady parts tingle. I mean. I could continue, here, if you’d like…
Okay. I will.
Steel is like, the craziest mind-fuck of a man I’ve ever had a crush on. I mean. I cannot tell you how out-of-character this crush is. Or, actually, I can. I can sum it up with this: Taylor Hanson has been my archetype for male beauty since 1997. If you have any memory of Taylor “Mmmmbop’ Hanson, I’m sure you don’t need me to compare and contrast those two fools. It will go without saying that Steel is broader, darker, hairier and more masculine than anyone I’ve been attracted to in over a decade.
But crush on him I do. Fantasize about him I do. Even though Lucky and I have taken to imagining that Steel sleeps in a hammock in the back of a VW Bus. Even though he is probably 100% out of context in most of life—with his stoner syntax and flowing, wavy mane, which might be the only head of hair in New York City that is as much of a beacon as mine is—and appears to be most truly at home on stage at the Hirschfeld. I would curl up in beside him on the hammock in the back of that VW Bus if that is, in fact, where he sleeps. I would risk the insanity of the hair situation that would arise if I ever had the opportunity to walk down the street beside him.
Bottom line: I think Steel Burkhardt is fucking beautiful and I’d love to go to bed with him. So. There, I said it.
Of course, I just said it in an open letter to the inter-web which is all kinds of crazy and potentially creepy and most of all just plain chicken shit. But after months of thinking it, and weeks of nearly posting about it here in several vague and wimpy ways, I figured…fuck it. I need to just go for it.
Because there’s nothing to be ashamed of, really.
Well, I mean, I’m kind of embarrassed by the intensity of some of the thoughts that have been marinating in my brain these days. Because if there’s one thing that’s different now than when I was fourteen, it’s that today I have a lot more uhm…descriptive thoughts about my crushes. The last decade or so has definitely given me a better vocabulary for the internal dialogue of my desire, that’s for sure. And I’ve exercised every last ounce of this vocabulary in my Dirty Jerz fantasies.
But if I’m willing to sit in a crowded Vynl and shout “Show us your boobs!” aloud when Taylor Lautner appears on the projection screen, or tweet about how I’d like Casey James (new on Idol this year) to “put it in me” then here, the place I’m being most honest, I might as well stop censoring myself. I mean, what am I afraid of? This is no different than having a crush on a screen-actor, or a member of Hanson, and I’ll tell anyone within earshot all about my feelings on those subjects. If I’m talking theater, my boner these days is for Steel Burkhardt. It’s time to be honest about that. You know, just in time for him to leave the country and feel like he’s at a safe distance from the (Hot)* Crazy Titian-Tressed Theater Fan and Blogger who has a potentially creepy crush on him.
But just in case he ever sees this and I haven’t completely scared him off, I’ll end with this:
I like your fringe. Call me…Thursday.
*I’m told mentioning the fact that I’m hot and have a great rack might actually make this less creepy. So, though I’m not entirely sure of the mechanics which make that work, I’m throwing it in for good measure.
Photo Credit: Andrew Kober for Broadway.com