Meeting Henry Rollins

At one point, I felt as if I was being watched. I looked up to see Henry avert his eyes quickly. “Oh!” I thought. “He must have been reading my shirt.”

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I opted for a mastectomy and reconstruction. After one of many surgeries, my husband and I went to "Fangoria Weekend of Horrors": in Burbank, California. We had gold circle front-row, center-stage seats, ten feet away from the actors, directors, and writers.

I felt self-conscious about my breasts, but put on a T-shirt that celebrated my survivorship. I took my seat for the Wrong Turn II panel. The last panel member introduced was Henry Rollins. Henry was the one person I wanted to see at Fango. I’ve crushed on him ever since I saw his Spoken Word in San Diego.

At one point, I felt as if I was being watched. I looked up to see Henry avert his eyes quickly. “Oh!” I thought. “He must have been reading my shirt.” I was wearing a gray T-shirt with a yellow caution sign printed on the chest. On the caution sign, above a pink ribbon, it read, "Pardon our appearance while we are under reconstruction.”

After the panel, we lined up for autographs. My husband and I walked as fast as my healing body would allow—to stand in line! When Henry began talking to the person in front of us, I gave my camera to my husband. The female security guard next to me said, “Put your camera away.”

“I want to get my picture with Henry,” I said.

“Not on my watch!” she snapped, squaring her shoulders.

My husband said, “Look, my thing is going to conventions. She goes with me because she loves me. This year, she really wanted to see Henry Rollins and get her picture taken with him. Why don’t you let her do it?”

“Ain’t gonna happen!” she said, widening her stance.

I touched my husband’s arm. “It’s OK, honey,” I said.
“No, it’s not,” he said.

When my husband got to Henry, he said, “My wife really wanted to have her picture taken with you. The guard just told her she couldn’t. Is there any way she can?”

Henry looked at me and said, “Yeah. If you wait around until I’m done signing, I’ll do it.”

“Thanks,” said my husband. He told the guard. Henry confirmed it. She ushered us to a waiting area. “I’ll get you when he’s done,” she said.

“Thanks.” I said.

After Henry signed a poster for the last person in line, he lifted the black curtain separating him from us, and waved me over. “Please sit,” he said. I sat next to him. He leaned into me and I into him. My husband took three shots, looking at each and shaking his head. He changed the setting on the camera, took one more shot, checked the image, and smiled. I had my picture.

“This means a lot to me," I said. "Thank you so much."

“No problem,” he said. “Glad to do it."


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