This is not a Fan Fiction, but a Fan Non-Fiction about The Water For Elephants Premiere in NYC. This piece has not been beta'd; it is messy, raw, and filled with errors—I'm sure. I am sending it out to you now, in this condition, because I believe time is of the essence. I will take it down and clean it up in a few weeks. For now, if you are interested, here it is.

Important: I am not intending to capture the experience of others in this piece, nor the experience of going to premieres in general. There are many stories of people who had a wonderful time. This is simply my account and my reflection shortly after the event.

Ms. Meyer doesn't own this one; I do. Please do not reprint without permission.

Some names and details have been changed to protect the innocent—and not so innocent.

Evian for Animals:
A Fan Non-Fiction

"Did you see him?"

"Did you get your picture with him?"

"Did you get his autograph?"

"Is he hot in person?"





"More beautiful than I am capable of describing."

If you are reading this story because of the previous questions, you now have your answers. If you're interested in one person's experience enduring the Water For Elephants Premiere weekend, consider reading more. This is not a story about seeing Robert, per se, it is a story about seeing the angels and demons in within us and around us, and how they emerged in Robert Pattinson's fandom.

I write this story on Wednesday afternoon, fewer than three days after seeing Him. Although my real life is screaming for attention, I cannot seem to focus on anything. My untold story is making too much noise. As a narrative scholar, I believe that we create meaning from our stories. I sit at this computer with little meaning, only fragments, images, and residual emotions—each of which are fading quickly and begging to be given voice before it is too late. Thus, real life can continue to scream, for I need to share this narrative, to find my meaning.

The Plan:

I called Orangeappeal, my She Gives Me Religion pre-reader and friend.

"I'm going to NY for the Water for Elephants Premiere in April. Please come with me. Let's meet there."

Neither of us had ever met an internet friend face-to-face, but I knew that she would be the one person in my life who could appreciate this experience. Orange knows that I am a researcher and need to talk face-to-face with fans to better understand this multifaceted fandom.

"What are your goals for the weekend?" the wise Orange asked.

I had a few goals: 1) interview people standing in line for the WFE Premier; 2) maybe catch a show; 3) eat Italian food.

I had no intention of standing in line. Rather, I would check in with the fans… bring coffee… conduct interviews… observe, but not participate.

Orange was in. I would see her on Saturday.

I flew into NYC on Friday and met up with my best friend, Jay. Does he understand this whole Twi/Pattinfan thing? No. Does he buy my argument that I'm doing all this for research and I'm not really a head-over-heels fan myself? Hell no. But after an evening of drinking Jameson, we began comparing the sports fandom to this one and saw the many similarities. We aren't that different after all.

Jay is my Jasper, or so I thought. He reminded me that he once thought about going into the Priesthood, was going to grad school to be a Counselor, and has had a Keith Richards obsession since he was a child. Oops, someone had been reading SGMR. Are you my Jasper, or are you my Edward? Hmmm. Something to consider.

Jay and I stumbled to the theatre and saw the large portico that, we assumed, would keep the people in line safe from the elements. Maybe I should stay out all night instead of just visiting the fans and getting interviews. Jay quickly threw himself on the ground and told me to take pics; we would have evidence someday that we were the first in line.

In the morning, I tried to wake so I could walk him to the train station.

"No. Sleep in Lizzy. I'll text you when I get home."

Thank God for this gesture. I didn't know it at the time, but I wouldn't have the opportunity to sleep again for another forty hours.

In the afternoon, Orange and I gave each other big hugs. See, it isn't that scary to meet an Internet friend face-to-face, after all. One amazing Italian dinner, a WFE cocktail party where I gathered some interesting information for my research, and I was ready to meet those in line... outside… no portico.

The Reality:

I entered the line at 9:30. The woman directly in front of me stood alone. The only thing thicker than her long blonde hair was her Long Island accent.

"I'm too old for this," she said. As an East Coast native, listening that voice was like hearing my mother's voice calling me for dinner. I felt like I was home.

"Can you hold my place in line, I want to go have a cigarette and I don't wanna… you know… smoke here," she said.

She smokes? I heard angles sing.

Her name was Maggie. Two years my junior, standing alone in line, questioning why she was there, but determined to stay. Even then, I had a feeling that Maggie would be my angel, the Alice to my Bella. I could spend a night standing in line with this woman. I was in.

"Maggie, whatever you do, don't let me leave."

"You better not let me leave." Every word she said in the husky smoker's voice made me smile.

"I won't… you ready for another cigarette?"

Our partnership created the center of our team:

An eighteen year old and her aunt, who traveled around the country going to premiers, conventions, and Baton Rouge stalking trips. This was a gold-star aunt who clearly adored her broad-faced, smiling niece.

Two sisters in their late teens. They showed up to get in line in the afternoon and were told that they could not up until midnight (lie #1). I was told that the first in line arrived at 5:30 p.m.

Three women, who met on a fansite and are now "RL friends."

These rings of overlapping teams formed the whole line.

The rain and wind picked up and the temperature dropped. Clearly, we would need support to make in through this endeavor.

"Why are we doing this again, Maggie?"

"It's for the story. We're doing this for the story."



Enter The Demon.

Now, I realize that Damon might be a harsh descriptor, but every drama has a villain and this is no exception.

She was a beautiful blond, a Rose type, public relations person with a bright-white smile plastered on her tanned skin. PR-Rose played with her perfectly highlighted hair as she told us that we wouldn't be sorry for standing in the freezing cold rain once we saw The Surprise they had in store. "You don't want to leave, this will all be worth it."

Maggie and I exchanged glances that said, "Let's not go there; let's not get our hopes up. There will be no surprise."

PR-Rose continued, "And Rob and Reese are sending you pizza in a few hours and bagels and coffee in the morning." (there would be no coffee, lie # 2)

Now, the cynic in me wanted to laugh at this absurd image:

"Reese, it's Rob."

"Hey, Rob. When did you get in?"

"I don't even know, I was filming the end of, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, now I'm in NY… but that isn't important right now. Did you hear that people were waiting in line in the rain?"

"Gosh, yes. It's something like 48 degrees out there, 8 degrees Celsius. Who knows what it is with the wind chill."

"I know… I know… what should we do?"

"Should we tell them to give out the wristbands now? I hear the first 200 get a special place to stand close to the red carpet."

"Um… do we have the power to do that?"

"I don't know, Rob. How about we send out pizza."

"Brilliant… yes, pizza… and coffee."

"Coffee… oh, and bagels."

"Yes, let's send out pizza in a few hours, then bagels and coffee for breakfast. I'll get my credit card and make the call. From where should we order?"

Now, I wasn't about to share my little vision with folks. After all, the teens around me—and maybe even some of the older folks—were thrilled that Rob was sending them pizza. Who am I to kill that thrill?

2:00 am

The trench coat I wore stuck to my skin. As did the sweatshirt and t-shirt I wore under it. Sideways rain takes no prisoners. My hair, my clothes… everything dripped rainwater. Never in my life had I been so cold. I had been in lower temperatures, but never so cold, so wet. I thought about giving up.

I had to sit; I had to take the risk.

What was the risk? You might ask.

Sitting was dangerous, but I had to do it. I sat in the folded camp chair provided by Orange and my body temp dropped immediately. This is why people don't sit in line, I realized.

I shivered so badly, my teeth began to chatter. My muscles cramped. I wanted to tell Maggie that I was giving up, but couldn't find the words. I looked over to my team members, The Teens. They, too, were sitting; they, too, were shivering. I could not stand if I wanted to; there was no energy to stand.

"Count to one hundred; then get up," I told myself over and over again, but it was no use. I counted into the thousands, but I could not get up. I kept hoping that the drifting would bring on sleep. But I couldn't fall off, just fall deeper. Until it came… the pizza.

A box of pizza came down the line for each of us to take a slice and then pass it along. The women in my team struggled to hold the box for one another as they each took a slice. It looked like the box was slipping out of their hands and I got up to steady it. To take a slice. To eat. To feel my blood sugar even out.

Maybe Rob sent the pizza, after all.

I didn't know the rules of the line. Could we leave and come back? Would that be cheating? Would it be mean to the other people in line? I didn't know, but I couldn't stay in those soaked clothes any longer.

"Maggie, I can't do this; I'm too cold."

"Go get changed. Your hotel is right there; you're soaked." The tone in her voice told me that to do anything else would be ridiculous.

"Is that cheating?" I asked to everyone in the team. I truly feared I would do something that would offend this magical community I found. They insisted. With the hotel near by, I could get Niece into a bathroom, something we could not do at the Hilton that formed the backdrop to our line. I could also get plastic bags. Yes, garbage bags would help.

As quickly as I could, I walked to the hotel, the whole time worrying that I'd wake Orange.

I tried to tip-toe in, but she immediately turned on the lights. She was there, supportive, kind. I stripped out of wet clothes and she told me that She Gives Me Religion hit 1,000 reviews while I was in line. This gave me energy. Reviews always give me energy.

Orange suggested I shower to get warm. I loved the idea, but that was taking it too far, seemed too unfair. I blew dry my hair and used plastic bags on my feet hoping they would stay drier this time. She gave me her rain jacket; I felt like a new woman. She, too, was an Angel… my Angela.

I tipped the Bell Captain who gave me industrial garbage bags. Walking back to my portion of the line, I noticed boxes of uneaten pizza in the front of the line. Hmmm… interesting.

From a distance, I saw many from my team sitting. Where was Maggie? Oh, no… Maggie was sitting in The Chair of Death.

"Maggie, are you okay?"

Her lips were purple. Her whole body quivered. She could barely respond.

"Hold on, I'm going to get you something."

I went to each food cart hoping to find a hot cup of coffee. No luck… but the all night deli saved us. I brought coffee and hot chocolate and croissants—the choices were limited—to my team members. The coffee gave Maggie the strength to get out of the chair.

I don't think either of us sat again that evening.

Later, we told each other that we saved one another's lives. Does it seem an overdramatic statement reading it now? Maybe. But that night, it felt very real.

Niece took a turn in the chair. She learned that if put our bags and purses on top of her, she could stay warm enough to last. Oh, the youth.

4:00 am

The ebb and flow of energy fascinated me. There were times that we stood shoulder to shoulder in silence for an hour, only breaking it by asking, "You doing okay?" A nod of affirmation, and back to silence.

At other times, we talked. We listened to rumors from the front of the line about people trying to break in, discussed the fan fic, Master of The Universe, and, daringly, allowed ourselves to speculate about The Surprise.

And we counted. From the moment we got into line, until the last hours there, we counted. Two-hundred. Two-hundred wristbands and we would be in the special place close to the actors. Two-hundred. Each count came out differently, but we were definitely within the two-hundred.

In the early hours of the morning, Maggie and I again retreated to our 'smoking cove,' the place where we went to be as considerate as we could with our nasty habit.

That is when we saw a women we hadn't seen before coming down the line with empty coffee cups. Thank you, Lord.

As she passed, Maggie and I asked for a cup and, when she said that these cups were for people in line, we quickly explained, "No, no… we're in line, we swear. We just wanted to get away because of our smoking."

It was in this moment that I realized how precarious and how precious our positions were. With only four hours away from magic time, and fearful of something going wrong, the perception that we were not in line panicked me.

We then saw Carlos coming down the line with Dunkin Donuts—not coffee—but hot chocolate.

Who is Carlos? You might ask.

Carlos was security, in every sense of the word. He did not work for the studio or the theatre, but an outside agency. And he was there for us, with us. He gave us information, counted the line for us, and made us feel as if we were not alone. It often felt like Carlos is the one person associated with the premiere who knew we were there. When he left in the morning, we cheered him as if he was RP himself. When he returned in the evening, so did our applause. Others wondered, who was this unknown person garnering all of this attention? He belonged to the 200 of us; he was our own celebrity.

They ran out of hot chocolate about half way through the line. I still have my empty cup. There were no bagels. A greasy donut under these conditions? No thanks.

5:00 am

He appeared. Robert Pattinson appeared to us in a hotel window across the street. It might have been delirium that drove us to this collusion, but we saw the silhouette of a man that we called Robert. In a white, v-neck t-shirt, a man watched the line from his window, eleven stories high, for a full two-hours. He pulled at his hair, leaned against the glass and watched. We knew his parents stayed at that hotel, why wouldn't he? Robert also took photos. I never thought the hours of 5:00-7:00 would be the easiest, but they were. Robert saw us. Maybe. Probably not… but maybe.


"Make sure you are in line at 7:30. There will be a Surprise at 7:30." (lie #3)


"Everyone pick up your trash. Pick up all those pizza boxes," the new, large security officer yelled at us. Where's Carlos?

"We'd like to, but the trash cans are full. Where should we put the trash?"

"Pick up your trash. Pick up all those pizza boxes," he continued to say walking down the line, ignoring our question.

Was that the surprise?

That surprise sucked.



With a big cup of Starbucks coffee, Orange came out to visit. Not only did she bring the coffee, but she also brought her warm fleece jacket for me to wear. I will swear until the day I die that it was the softest garment I ever slipped on. I needed it. I needed her. I was a shitty friend.

She told the team that I refused a shower. Orange was amazing. I really was a shitty friend.


Bottles of Evian water came out to us. They were tepid. Wonderful. We could imagine that is was the coffee we never received. Drink water now and risk having to go to the bathroom? No thanks.


Rose-PR came by and reminded us, "I know this night was really hard, but when you see The Surprise, you'll be really glad you stayed."

The press came. Everyone wanted to see what would happen to number 201 in line. Would that person fall apart? After a night like this, would there be riots? How would we deal?

The teens, not the ones from our team, but ones behind them, showed the reporters the sign they made with the pizza box and explained that Robert Pattinson bought them pizza. Some of them even had the energy to put lip-gloss on. The reporter wanted to know what they would do if they were not in the 200. Silly woman, didn't she know we counted?


Was this really happening? We got into line and began to get our wristbands. As each new person went by we'd ask, "What number did you get?"






No, no, no… something is wrong the numbers are going by too quickly. How could this be? Were we not getting in?

I started to think about the hints of animosity and competition flew down the line.


I heard people talk about those who landed the second 100, "They barely waited at all."

"They went to the cocktail party while we were in line." Really? Getting in line at 9:30 was not good enough?


I then thought about being in that line for another four hours and figured, maybe they have a point. If I had to be in line for another four hours, how would I feel? Had I been particularly kind to those who came at midnight? I didn't really even talk to them. I didn't like the competition part of this; I yearned to feel the collaboration. I did not like what the stress was doing to my sense of civility.

We got our wristbands; we were in. When we came back in the afternoon, we would line up by our number and be allowed into the special pen.

Pen. How perfect. They saw us as animals. Animals we were.

Maggie and I stepped aside to smoke and watch what would happen to number 201.

Nothing happened. They continued to give out wristbands… and continued… and continued. Then they even gave those without wristbands another viewing section that, some argued, was better than our own.

Two girls came running out with wristbands squealing.

"What number did you get?" I asked without much enthusiasm or kindness in my voice. They were around 250—the new end point.

"What time did you get here?" Maggie wanted to know, also with a dead voice.

"We got here this morning."

"Oh, really," Maggie's husky voice laid flat on the ground, "we've been here since last night."

Fortunately, they saw our dropped faces and read the situation well. I am grateful for these two women who hid their smiles and said, "Wow, that must have been really hard."

"Yeah, it was," I said.

I had nothing left. There was no, "Wow, I'm really glad we all got in. This will be great." I felt empty. They humanely left us alone to smoke. I wish I had the energy to be the person I wanted to be, but I didn't.


I had to: 1-check out of old hotel, and into the Hilton. When I thought I was not staying in line, saving a few hundred dollars this way made sense, now it made none; 2-shower; 3-sleep; 4-food? Not hungry; 5-make myself presentable.

I knocked out both sleep and a shower with a bath—two down.

I ate tomato soup—delicious.

We tipped 40.00 to get first available room with a view of The Ziegfeld Theatre.

We finally got into a room at 2:00. I had to be downstairs at 2:30. I looked like shit. I felt even worse.

The Cruelty


I had one lock of hair through the flat iron and eyeliner on one eye when I received a call from Orange who went down to scope the scene.

"They are letting people in on first come first serve."

"Noooo! We are supposed to line up in order!"

I squeezed my toothpaste in my mouth, grabbed my small red leather folio I use to take research notes, a pack of cigs and took off down the hall. Did I turn off the flat iron? I hope so.

I couldn't even find the humor when I pushed the elevator button a thousand times to call it up faster.

Running into the crowd, I found other wristbanders freaking out about the change in plans.

Carlos! Where are you? Save us!

Wait, they're kicking people out. Okay… breathe Liz. They asked us to line up in order. Thank God. This is one promise they are keeping.


Okay, I had my girl Maggie—who looked great! I kicked myself again for horrible hotel plans—and we got in line. We ended up in the same place that we spent the night… exactly the same place… brutal. I wonder if future visits to that spot will repulse or thrill me.

It was time. Like cattle, security herded us into the pen. Hundreds, maybe thousands of onlookers gathered around the metal barricades.

We went in by number but were to stake out our location once in the pen. Okay, I see Aunt and Niece and Three RL friends a few yards down. Teens, Maggie and I situated ourselves in the row behind some folks we hadn't met before… but we would be okay. One full person and Maggie's shoulder stood between the barricade, where Robert would be, and myself. This was okay.

The woman to the left of us got on a stool. "I won't be on this the whole time, I just want to get a picture." Since, RP would be coming down from the left, she would block some of our view.

Time passed.

We waited.

People screamed.

But nothing was happening.

Orange texted, but it was too difficult to text back with shaky hands… with the screaming erupting once again… was it starting? Was he here? No. I can't text.

The Teen next to me, who I adored throughout our hours in line, had a lot of adrenaline flowing through her.

She wanted to talk.

A lot.

"Did you know that people call him The Pretty? Did you know that? Did you know that people called him that because he is so pretty?"

Please, please, please stop talking.

"Yes… I ah… know that," I said and tried to smile. Smile Liz, she's so excited and so young. Be a good person.

"People call his fingers finger porn. And his jaw. Did you know that? Did you know that people call it finger porn and jaw porn?"

Please. I will give you 100.00 if you stop talking for one minute.

"Did you know that he was on a talk show and um… he said he had lice?"

"Yea, it was really funny. I saw that."

Patience? Where is my patience? Maggie is doing a much better job at laughing and smiling. Is this really news to her? Maybe. She is the only person I met this weekend who did not read fanfic.

"Here… let me look it up. It's on my iPhone…" the Teen continued.

I couldn't concentrate… I started to shake. I felt ill. I wanted a cigarette. No, that would make it worse.

Maggie fidgeted with her camera lens.

I knew that her camera is good because it has multiple lenses and people asked her, "Is that a PS-blah, blah, blah."

When she says yes, they sound impressed. My mind drifts again to Robert in the window and I wonder if we can get her photos blown up.

Maggie and I have a plan. She will take pictures and I will get our autographs—Maggie's magazine and my folio. We can make this work. I'm still eyeing the woman on the stool. But it is okay, there is another woman in front of her, and we will be able to see past her.

"I still can't find the clip," the Teen says playing with her iPhone, "It's really funny, he talks about having lice."

"It's The Ellen Show, Eclipse press tour," I mutter.

"Are you sure?"

Would I wait in line over night in the freezing cold rain if I weren't familiar with this man?

"Um… yeah, I'm sure," I say with a smile. I'm trying.

There is now someone pushing against me, my full body. I turn to find another teen… small, but feisty. No one is pushing her forward; she is just pushing.

"Could you stop pushing me, please?" There is a please, but my voice is cold.

She huffs, "I want to see."

Join the club. I'm short, too. Please stop touching me.

PR-Rose comes by.

"Hi Everyone!" She waved and gave her toothy smile. "You are going to be so glad you stayed out when you see The Surprise."

Maggie and I lock eyes, and then shake our heads. Don't get your hopes up.

"What do you think the surprise is?" The Teen wants to know.

"For Remember Me, they took everyone in line to a theatre around the corner," Maggie says. Hmmm… maybe you do know more than you are letting on.

"Maybe we each get to take a picture with Robert Pattinson," The Teen speculates.

The person who full pressed against me is now pressing against the Teen.

"Back off," The Teen yelled, she too, is losing patience.

The screams from the people behind come again. This time it's not excitement, but horror. With no security guards around the barricades, people start to jump over and some very thin girls slip under them. This is not happening.

"Please, don't do this to us," I quietly plead. "We have been out here far too long."

It is no use… the barricades… the wristbands… the lines mean nothing.

"Hi everyone. Don't forget there's a Big Surprise." PR-Rose makes this announcement four times as we wait in line.

There is more shoving. I am sweating and cold, and sick. There are people screaming at the barricade jumpers. The thin girls who crawled under the barricade are now crawling under legs to get a closer look. It doesn't help to play by the rules, does it?

The screaming turns happy. He is here; I can feel it. I look at Maggie; she prepares her camera. It is as if we are in the trenches of war, her gun is ready.

He begins at the other pen. The one you went into if you showed up at 9:00 when they gave out wristbands. This is the consolation prize pen? Sign me up.

And then it happens. The woman to our left, the one in front of the woman on the stool, opens up her big sign. A sign so large, it completely obscures our view. This is not happening.

"Could you please put that down for one second," Maggie pleads.


"One shot. Just one photo."


"Let her take a picture. Please." I am now nearly crying.

"Please, just one shot." Over and over again we beg.

Someone has their hands on Maggie's shoulders, pushing her down.

We can see nothing but the sign. He is probably two feet away from me and we see nothing but a sign.

But there is silence. As he approaches, we all go quiet. No more begging, no more yelling, no more screaming. Shoving? Yes, but no noise.

And then he is directly in front of us. DIRECTLY IN FRONT.

The silence was eerie. I could not figure out who was taming whom. Were we the animals taming him, or he us?

Two women ask for him to take a photo. He takes his time, he obliges.

I stretch out my arm for the autograph, but if I stretched any further, it would have been rude; I withdraw my arm. It would have been everything wrong with people, wrong with some factions of the fandom, the lack of civility.

Instead, I just watched and listened.

He was so soft, so gentle, so humble. He spoke quietly, but we could all hear. We spoke quietly, too. We know him. We know he doesn't like screaming. Why would we go through all of this and not follow his desires?

His skin. His perfect, poreless, soft skin is something I could never appreciate until this moment. Lips, dark pink and full. The upper lip hanging slightly over the bottom, just.

There would be no photo or autograph, but I found some words.

"It's a lovely night, Rob. Congratulations. We hope you enjoy yourself."

Poetic? No. But they were words I'd say to a friend, so that is okay.

He looked up and smiled, we made eye contact. My moment.

I realized that when I see photos of Rob, Bruce Weber's for example, I see Fifty.

But right then and there, I saw my Saintward. A little nervous. Gentle. Soft. Kind.

When he moved on, Maggie and I looked at each other with fallen faces.

"I didn't get one good photo."

"I didn't get your autograph."

I felt that I failed her. I felt horrible.

Maggie grabbed our stuff and disappeared. I stood shell-shocked by the whole experience. Reese came down the line and I shook out of it. Funny, beautiful, at ease and graceful. I want to have a drink with Reese Witherspoon. When she left, I went back into my daze.

I found Maggie a while later, angry, trembling, dying for a cigarette.

"What happened?"

"I beat the shit out of a guy."


"I kicked him. There was this girl on the ground… one of the girls from our part of the line. She's so little… She fell and this guy was standing on her."

It turns out, that he was one of those people with blank photo paper for celebrities to sign. He was just one of the many animals in the pen.

Maggie beat the shit out of him. I love this woman. She also got her autograph. Interestingly, Rob used my folio as support for the autographs, but never signed.

After all we had been through, Maggie and I gave up our personal rules for behavior.

We sat down on the curb. And with people standing all around us, we smoked our cigarettes.

We watched Rob and Reese from across the street have their interviews.

Across the street?


Fox didn't secure a permit to close off the street. So, we watched from a distance, between moving cars and buses.

The actors went inside and the crowd dissipated. I looked at Maggie.

"I need something to drink," she said.

I suddenly realized how thirsty I was.

We stood to head out, when the security guard who earlier yelled about pizza boxes came over.

"Everyone with a wristband get in the pen. Everyone without one, get out," he yelled.

Now your checking bands? Shut up, Liz.

Maggie and I locked eyes. It couldn't be. Could it?

A sea of arms went up; we showed our pink bands.

"Oh my God," I said under my breath. Maybe it could be. The shaking started again.

"Everyone get in line," the guard bellowed.

Maggie and I grabbed hands. There is a surprise? The tears that threatened for the past day were stinging my eyes. Could this be?

PR-Rose came over with a big smile. Her partner did not wear one.

"Hi guys. We planned to get you into the theatre, but we can't. Too many people showed up," she said. Her smile disturbed me. Why was she smiling? She was kidding. This was too cruel. We weren't leaving.

Her sidekick, Mr. Hollywood, Jr. said with finality, "Go home and get some sleep."

The Surprise was lie #4, the worst of them all.

That was it?

That was it.

We started to walk away and I watched the PR team chatting in the street. PR-Rose was still smiling. Please look as if you are sorry. I need some sympathy or empathy here.

"Excuse me…" I yelled to them. Shut up, Liz. Be a good person. "Excuse me… So, there really isn't a surprise, because you are smiling." She might be smiling because she's nervous, Liz. "I want you to know that what just happened was cruel. I need you to know that, because I don't think you do."

It didn't really make me feel any better. I'm sure it didn't make them feel better. I'm not sure if there was any point.

Maggie and I went to the Hilton bar and got a soda. We stared at each other for a long time. I'm fairly certain that the only reason there were no tears was because I was too dehydrated.

Amazingly, Maggie and I found ourselves outside again an hour later. Carlos was there and allowed those with wristbands to wait in the pen until after the premiere when some actors might come back out. Only about twenty-five stood in the pen. Might we get our moment? Our picture? His autograph?

Chris Waltz came out. People walked into the street, in front of the pen.

Seriously? I felt like such a fool.

He didn't meet the fans before the film, but spent this wonderful time with us after. He, too, seemed humble and shy.

Shortly after he left, someone tweeted that Rob and Kristen had departed from the other side of the building.

Now, we were done.

I went to my room alone. I couldn't have been more pleased that Orange scored last minute hot tickets to a great show. I sucked as a friend. There were tweets from my new twitter friends and they allowed me to tell my fragmented story to them the best I could. Orange came back and I finished up my tweets.

The next morning, Maggie, Orange and I went to The Today show. We saw him, but he didn't make it to our section. We stood next to women who had been waiting there eleven hours before we arrived.

The Epiphany

So, now I've told my story—roughly. And if you've gotten this far, you might be wondering. Why? Why do people go through all of that? I've been wondering the same thing myself. I have a long way to go before I have clear answers, but I do have some thoughts.

For many, this is a fun adventure to share with friends. It is a chance to get together with friends from blogs, twitter and Facebook, and see them face-to-face.

For me, and I think others, it is also about The Moment. I don't want my picture with Rob. I hate how I photograph. A signature is fine, but I'm not really an autograph person. A signature or photo functions to hold the person there for a moment. It is merely an action to keep Robert with you so that you can connect.

In our culture, we greet one another by saying, "How are you?" but don't wait for a reply.

In some cultures, people greet one another with, "I see you."

I. See. You.

To be seen by another human being is profound.

We read and write fanfiction. We watch his films time and time again. We blog. We tease him with each other like his is our brother. We can talk at lengths about the various outfits he's worn, the funny things he says in interviews, and each photograph he has taken. We see him. Over and Over, We See Him.

The Moment is about Rob seeing us. Looking into our eyes and saying, "I see you."

I never did cry or have the emotional release I expected. Well, not until I write these last lines, three days later.

I am exhausted, still.

I am not fully recovered.

I am overly sentimental.

My eyes are stinging because, in reality, I don't think I had my moment. Rob did not see me.

I spoke words to him; there was a smile. Did he really look up? Did we really meet eyes? If so, why does the memory of it seem so false? Did I create the moment to save myself from severe disappointment? To punctuate this experience positively?

I don't know.

But the possibility that I created the moment makes me sad.

The positives in fandom happen not necessarily because of Rob, or because of The Moments. I met Maggie and found even further depths of thoughtfulness and patience in Orange. For this, I am truly grateful.

Maggie and I joked about going to The Breaking Dawn Premiere together in November. I never did like roller coasters, and I don't know if I have another one in me.

I'll let you know if we go.