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Published Sep. 17, 2009

Pit tickets to Bruce Springsteen. This was my reason to live. The prospect of being so close to the Boss, the possibility of making eye contact with a god. Such small beginnings!

Since Sept. 12, things have changed. Me and Springsteen? We're practically BFFs.

Okay, so that's an exaggeration. But on that fateful night of his Tampa concert, the Boss did something not usually part of his set: He pulled a few kids on stage during Dancing in the Dark, and then a few more and a few more. My immediate feeling was intense jealousy.

But then Bruce circled around to the platform. He loomed over me, and he reached down, and I reached up, and he heaved me onto the stage. The greatest rocker and live performer of all time had grabbed MY arms and brought me to his level. So there I was. On stage with the E Street Band. Dancing like an idiot as people took embarrassing videos of me to put up on YouTube, pictures of my giant head on the jumbo screen. I'm no star, so I had no idea how to react besides clapping and jumping like one of those organ grinder monkeys. But who cared? The YouTube world can laugh all they want.

And then it happened. As the song was drawing to a close, suddenly Bruce Springsteen pushed me forward, bridal-scooped me into his arms, and held me facing the crowd of thousands. Needless to say, at that moment my life was complete. My idol was making a dream I never knew I had come true.

Mina Asayesh-Brown; St. Petersburg High