I discovered Céline Dion on the Titanic soundtrack. I was thirteen and experimenting with my sexuality, but when I saw and heard Céline, I knew I wasn’t gay. I wanted to be with women. More specifically, I wanted to be with her.
I asked my mom if we could adopt an Afghan Hound, a breed I found to look like my faraway sweetheart. I remember a dog breeder telling me they had relatively low obedience intelligence, to which I politely corrected her, “You mean they retain their independence.”
When Céline’s husband and manager, René Angélil, suffered from cancer I couldn’t help but wish that he wouldn’t survive. Of course, I wouldn’t want any hardship for my lover (as I had began to call her), but a grieving woman is an easy woman.
Fast-forward seven years. I’m on the Queen Mary cruise on my way across the Atlantic. I’m finally going to Canada.
The first thing I did when I had cleared customs was go to Nickels, the restaurant franchise created by Céline Dion. I had three orders of the Gâteau Céline, the best three-course meal I could imagine. The cake was as delicious as I’d imagine she would be.
When I had paid the bill, I was off to get a bottle of Belong, the perfume by…you guessed it. The name couldn’t have been much better. I already felt I belonged in Canada, and more importantly, Céline Dion would soon belong to me.
Off I went to Charlemagne, the birthplace of my beloved. After a bit of quizzing the locals, I found the house she had grown up in. I peered through the windows of the empty, unmarked house. There was no sign of her. Then a gust of wind took a few leaves and spun them into the air. Was it her ghost?
Surely, this Graceland of Canada, would have been disappointing, had it not been for an old lady in a parka. She told me that every year, Céline comes to hand out baskets of food to poor people. “Are you poor?” I inquired. She shook her head, as if she was offended. Then she pointed to a man across the street.
It was all I needed.
“Did you get a Céline basket?” I asked the man.
“Sure, haven’t touched it yet.”
Jackpot. He took me to his house and I bought the basket from him. Let’s just say he’ll never have to worry about money again.
Since then, I’ve been to numerous concerts, sent hundreds of fan letters, and spent thousands of dollars on merchandise. I have yet to appear on her radar, but my passion is unwavering. So if I had to talk about love, it’d be the true kind.