This is a letter to Bruce Springsteen. If you know how to help me circulate it so that it may, against all odds, get to him, please help!
I’m writing to you as a friend because that’s how it feels. That is the genius of you, I know. That is how all of your fans feel. It feels like I grew up with you and that we’ve been together, as friends ever since I met you, through a friend, when I was twelve. That is 42 years ago. It’s a lasting friendship.
You were the background to my rebellion; growing up white in Apartheid South Africa, you were the voice of my freedom, the echo of my first heartbreak, the shocking reality of my politics, the narrative of my wildness, the love song (If I Should Fall Behind) at my wedding, my solace when my father died and the poet on my inner journey.
I first saw you live in Harare at the Amnesty International concert. (It was my friends and I who had cheekily painted the ‘We love you Brian Springsteen’ banner that made you laugh. It was many years later that I saw you again, first in Cape Town and then in Johannesburg. I couldn’t bear not seeing you in my hometown and so I flew up for that concert that was like a baptism in the rain. Nothing could have prepared me for how personally I took those shows.
Your words and music have been a profound and enduring inspiration to me. So, when my play Lost Property was chosen to be read at a tiny developmental play reading festival at the Jersey City Theatre Centre on the 31 of May, I couldn’t help myself. I have been fantasising about you being there. I know that it is beyond ridiculous, and beyond all realistic expectation, but I had to ask. Bruce, if you are in that neck of the woods, and would like to come to hear my play being read, I would love to have you there.
Lost Property is a tiny two-hander dealing with land, and home, and houses, and ghosts, and gentrification, and loss. It is deeply personal, and political and also strangely whimsical. And I think you may like it.
Much love and gratitude