Bohemian Rhapsody for the first time...
I was in times of killing myself as a human being in hopes
to feel no more pain. I was trying to turn myself into a small grey rock
near a big road...
Background: opera, decadent and theatrical songs.
Rock? What is it? Hardly some Beatles - the fav of my
very first love - didn't want to think of him anymore - it hurts. Western
music in general was on a black list in Russia. Never at a school party.
Unwanted at university ones, too.
My first time in a strange town. Folks I see for the first
and the last time in my life, except for one real friend.
Old stereo, pop rubbish deep into the night. Doorbell.
One more chap, as if he doesn't see anyone in there, drops a record off
without asking and puts on the one he has with him.
"Mama," he said, but he was talking to me. He was telling
all my tortures and desperate efforts to find a way out. Yes, I knew this
taste of guilt. It doesn't matter if you really killed or didn't save a
man. And you wish you were never born, for all this pain you cannot undo.
Stop it, now - I've been there. Don't you strip my soul
like this! With your oh-so-familiar voice - though I have never heard it
before. Oh yes, thank you, a wonderful guitar singing with a human voice,
for taking me out.
But it's not the end. We are behind the curtain at my beloved
opera. Hiding place? No, just all the hell waiting for you here! In spite
of your pretending that you are just as everyone else, in spite of
your promises to be the way they wish you to be.
All in vain, all your pleading, no one can help even when
trying. And you, million voices, I know you are friendly but helpless,
just telling my troubles. And all my running away is over. I have a devil
on my back.
This is the end of the road, just where I really am, in my
real life. This is a point I have to start once again, to pretend I am
alive and to function without a soul.
And - is this the afterlife? Here it comes, an atom bomb
exploding from inside me. Are these you, dear all-life-known strangers,
is this him, my lost love? Don't you hear him now, screaming from hell
that I betrayed him when he was alone, far away, different from others
- and killed because of it in the end? Exactly what I did, saying
I love you, then leaving you to die.
I was dumbfounded with a power of this music. Oh yes, they
can handle it, they are fighting and winning!.. But not me. All my fault,
and no escape. We can't ride out of here, dear, because we are dead and
gone one more time.
I was in agony.
Then, for the first time, I felt this brief touch of a very
light hand (wait and see, it would be back).
"Well, well, well, dear. Now, now. You can do nothing
about it. The things are the way they are. Just carry on..."
I hear my friend asking me, "What's the matter? Didn't
you hear it yet? It's their old one."
Don't touch me.
Don't touch me, whoever you are. I can't stand it anymore.
I never ever thought someone would be able to understand this kind of thing.
Someone knows what it means to be different in this world and to pay the
price for it. To have the heart to talk about it. To be bold and proud.
To do what they believe in.
Don't touch me.
But aren't you already inside me? And in some funny way you
have helped me a lot. This burning intrusion, lighting the darkest corners
of my soul, making me know it's all about us - God's people. Not only me
in the whole, big world.
From then on I was trying to avoid Queen. It was an emergency.
This was so much bigger than me. But it was unavoidable. It just took time.
November 1991 TV news.
So now you too? I am always LadyTooLate. But I knew stars
would never die. Now I was trying to face Queen. There was a lot about
them during that time on TV and radio. I didn't turn it off. I listened.
Yes, it was still larger then life, but it was challenging!
They were calling the best part of my soul to wake up and to live life.
To be - at least to try! To be free, to be myself whatever I am. Now I
knew some more of their songs. I got used to meeting them from time to
time; I missed them when, for a few days, they were absent. I was just trying
to pay no attention to all this press happening about Freddie's illness
and death, about his private life - not that I didn't like it. I appreciated
his daring very much. This was just proof of how much it was similar to
what was happened with my own life, with my own love. As they told me on
the first date. It was just way too painful. I tried to stay aside,
to stay safe, and to keep on going just with their music, which I needed
more and more.
The last touch, very familiar by now, was in the middle
of a crazy, hot, noisy Tel-Aviv bazaar when I was walking there half conscious,
tired and indifferent to all this in my new world. "I get lonely," he said
behind me. Said it very softly, because he knew I could hear him well.
And that was it. It made me start to look for everything
to do with Queen. I went to them as to old friends, discovering they had
already became a part of me. As I went back to these songs, though it could
be the first time I met some, it was unlike anything I knew before. As
if I'd been around when it actually happened. As if they'd been with me
all my life.
From Queen, as the matter of The Eternal Art. To you wonderful,
real people behind your music.
I owe you so much of my own inner world.
Copyright © 1997 by Maria
Illustrations from Greatest