Lady Gaga, Do You Know?



I slip into the lobby and scuttle up to the sliding glass window to check in with the receptionist. Head bent over the sign-in sheet, I hear it. Snoring. Someone is snoring. It’s 9:45 AM and someone is already sleeping in the dentist’s waiting room…

I turn around, and there she is. Large body twisted awkwardly in her seat so that she can drape her arms across the back of the chair, she sleeps. Soundly. Her wide hands hang limply from her wrists. She looks to be about 18, she’s blonde, and she’s wearing a T-shirt and denim shorts. Because she’s so deeply asleep, I’m able to peek at her, and I see a thick neck, flattened nose, and eyes that tilt upwards – just a bit – behind her pink glasses. Her ears and mouth are beautifully formed, but small. 

My eyes drop to the T-shirt that covers her wide back. There’s a quote on it, and I want to know what it is, because I can see the word “soul.”

An assistant comes to the doorway and calls, “Jenny.” 

The girl jumps to her feet so swiftly that I’m startled.

“I’m coming,” she calls. “I gotta get my paper.”

She reaches over to the seat of the chair abutting hers and grabs a piece of paper. She moves quickly across the floor, smiling. As she walks away, I see the quote, all big and bold and rainbowy:

Don't you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are.
- Lady Gaga

I choke up. It’s kinda beautiful, seeing that quote on that girl, and I feel the magic of it.

I speak to Lady Gaga in my head. Lady Gaga, I say. Do you know?

I mean, I know you know many things about the people you inspire. But do you know this? Do you know that in Houston, Texas, a girl named Jenny who has Down’s Syndrome wears T-shirts with your words emblazoned across her back?

 I hope she knows. 


And while we’re at it, the same goes for you, my friends. Me and Lady Gaga and Jenny, we want you to know – 

Don't you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are.