When I was in second grade, at Bacich Elementary School off of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, a Medieval music group came to our school and performed a concert in the library.
Before they played, the principle of the school got up and gave a long speech about how the members of the band -- middle aged white men with graying hair -- had played for over five or six different royal families.
"These men are world travelers," he said. "They have been to Iceland, they have been to Transylvania. They have performed for the King and Queen of Britain, and they have shook the hands of royalty all around the world!"
This whole shaking hands thing really hit me.
Wait, so these dudes had shaken hands with royalty?! Like, straight up Kings and Queens?
The concert began, the musicians played their antique instruments. Replica Medieval instruments. I don't remember exactly what they played, but it sounded like this:
(Have I listened to this youtube video in its entirety before? Yes, yes I have.)
But so anyways, these guys played the concert and we were all super impressed.
Well, I was impressed. I think the vast majority of the other second graders did not care at all. Bored, falling asleep, goofing around. But me, I was totally transifxed by the music, by their ancient sensibilities, and by the fact that they had shook hands with Kings and Queens.
After the show, my best friend George and I snuck around back to where the band was loading their instruments into a beat up old Dodge minivan.
"Excuse me!" I shouted.
One of the musicians looked around, confused, before spotting me standing below him.
"Excuse me!" I repeated, and stuck out my arm. "Can I shake your hand?"
"What?" said the man. He seemed confused.
"Please?" I asked.
"Well, okay then. I guess." He laughed and shook my hand.
I looked down at my hand, knowing that my life was forever changed. Because now, finally, I had been in contact with a King! With royalty! Oh man, no one could mess with me now!
George demanded that the man shake his hand as well, and then we both ran away, laughing.
I did not wash that hand for a whole week, until my mother dragged me into the shower and scrubbed it clean herself.
"But mom!" I screamed, crying. "The King's touch is gone! How could you?!"
So, two things:
1.) This story illustrates what a dork I was as a kid, and how lost I was in music and in my own fantastical worlds.
2.) I totally get what this kid is going through in the NBA's new "This Is Why We Play" TV spot featuring Andre Iguodala ad the rest of the Warriors.
Be you, kid. Be you.