I Used to Love Him: Devendra Banhart, Witches, Ducks

This tripped-out duck-themed, color-waved video makes me think that me and Devendra Banhart could truly be good friends, if not more.

I’m an optimist. For better or worse, I believe things will work out, people mean well, and that things can always be remedied.

I once believed I would win an HGTV home giveaway, after I entered an online contest daily for a month, and I waited for a camera crew to knock on my door. I did fancy makeup, lots of bronzer, and wore my favorite shirt. They never came.

This is an example of the tragic lives that optimists lead. We are often let down, again and again, because maybe things aren’t as wonderful as we want to believe.

I was once optimistic that Devendra Banhart would be my boyfriend. I was 22. It was New York. And I was truly optimistic about this prospect.

And when I watch this video, I’m like, Hmmm, this could still be a thing

We are not that far off in age. He dated Natalie Portman, and not only do I support that, but if given the chance, I’d date her too. He wears weird hats, and I like weird hats! We are both brown-eyed, brown-haired people, and together, that really makes for good breeding. He has a cool name, I like cool names. He has had long hair, me too. He’s a poet, I wrote rhyming poems in high school. The list goes on.

When I was 22, I truly thought maybe Devendra and I had a shot— at love, friendship, collaboration, all of those things that true love brings. We could be real artists together. Imagine!

I was working as a sports writer, and Devendra broke his leg skateboarding. Obviously that was my in. The stars had aligned. I convinced ESPN to let me cover the story — rockstar (ha!) breaks leg while skateboarding.

I called his manager. I got an email interview, which (like most famous people) was answered by some peppy PR person. Still, I said I was a fan, optimistic that maybe I could meet him. No way was the answer, but I did get tickets to a show and backstage passes.

Other than this, never have I compromised my role as a journalist. This was the only time, I swear.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

My bestie and I appeared at Terminal 5 in our best outfits, practically matching. Drapey black clothes, Stevie Nicks and magical themed. We sat against the stage, just above it, with a bunch of other loser-free-ticket people. There were hoards of us, all girls, we all looked the same. Waiting to meet the barefooted hunk that we thought possessed some kind of magic. 

I stood nearly 30 feet from him after the show, but the swarm of optimists surrounding him blocked my view. I shook hands with his manager, who thanked me for the broken leg story, and I said I was happy he was recovered. As were the other ladies there, too. That was it. No meeting. No romance. No long talking about how I would star in his next music video.

Now that I’m practically an old woman, I think of this time as cute. However, this rigid optimism often strikes me still.

And when I watch this video, I’m like, Hmmm, this could still be a thing. What a star, you are, Devendra Banhart! So weird! So cool! So colorful!

I think that's just an optimist talking. My current taste (let's be honest, is questionable) and sound adult mind make me think he had some shitty Jim Morrison effect on my sense of right and wrong. 

Last year I saw him driving an old VW Beatle in Venice. I thought of waving, still optimistic that we could be friends. The blonde duck woman in the bra suit could have been me. Meeeee!