AWKWARD ON A SHOE STRING

…Or yet another embarrassing moment from my life. This moment brings us back to sometime in the wee hours of a Saturday morning in 1982 after quietly sneaking back into the house after doing all manner of “bad” things with my old pals, “X” and Prissy (it was a nickname so I don’t need to disguise her) …I was a little out of it and it was well after 2am. I felt certain that my parents had not noticed that I had even slipped out a second time that night.

Before I tell you what actually happened I should give you a bit more of set up. You see, for years — after I had outgrown my crush on Alice Cooper and my lust for Andy Gibb — I developed a real crushed sort of love for Tom Petty. I still find him totally cool and hot. Can’t be helped. But, anyway, when Stevie Nicks recorded her first solo album in 1980 — she recorded a duet with Mr. Heartbreaker. Well! I mean, you’re talking about combining two of my fave talents and it was the first time I had remembered thinking that Mr. P was actually trying to be kind of sexy in a video. I mean he was cool, sexy and he knew it! And, Stevie with her twirls and witchy ways — it was just the ultimate. Sometimes my fantasies would stray from carnal knowledge of Mr. P to pretending to know how cool it would be to actually BE Tom Petty and to actually HAVE a band and to actually SING/FLIRT with someone as cool as Stevie Nicks!!! I think this sort of fantasy play seemed ‘safe’ to me because though I knew I was gay — I could not really face that until later toward the end of high school. Does that make sense? I had no interest in pretending to be with Stevie Nicks, but I could get into the idea of being cool enough to sing with her and flirt. I don’t know, all I know is that the following was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life! I turned on my bedroom light, put on my headphones, put the needle down on the the “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” track of the “Bella Donna” LP and — as if by magick or by the aid of some great pot — I WAS Tom Petty and I WAS IN the vid-clip for the song!

I could see Stevie looking at me seductively. I could feel as she twirled about and the scent of her perfume seemed to feel my nostrils. And, then my time came and I inched toward the mic and swaggered with that classic Petty cool — you know, overly straining as I sang — or, in this case, lip-synced. Yes, I was buckling with the weight of the word. And, just as I was reaching mid buckle and really getting into my solid stoned air guitar moment —- I felt something. I was aware of something behind me.

I opened my eyes. Stevie was gone. I was not a stone fox rock star with a guitar and cool boots. No, I was just skinny me in a jock strap and torn OP shirt. My foot hurt. I had stepped on the lighter I had borrowed after I feel out of that guy’s car a few houses down from mine. I was in my bedroom.

No. It couldn’t be. I could see the digital numbers on my clock radio. It was 3:24am. No. It couldn’t be. Could it?

I pulled my giant Radio Shack head phones off my head. I took a deep breath. I turned around.

And, my worst fear was confirmed. I was not alone. Standing in my room was my father. I was standing in front of my father with my head set around my neck, my arms/hands formed to hold an electric guitar, and to make it all the more awkward — I had a hard-on to beat the band.

My father stood there looking above my head. I stood there looking at him, then at my foot standing on Prissy’s lighter which was cutting into my bare foot and then back to my father who was still looking somewhere over my head.

My face was flushed. My father slowly looked me in the eyes.

“Ok, then. Um. the door was unlocked and I knocked, but you didn’t, um. Well, son. Um, OK. I’m going to go back to bed because, um. Well. Yeah. OK. Do you have water? Yeah. OK. You’ve got your water there. That’s good. Um, well. Uh.”

“Dad? I –”

“Huh? No. Um, I’m sure that, uh, yeah. Well. OK. ‘Nite, Matt.”

The door shut slowly and quietly.
“…I know you really want to
tell me good-bye
I know you really want to
be your own girl

Baby you could never look me in the eye
Yeah you buckle with the weight
of the words
Stop draggin’ my…
Stop draggin’ my…
Stop draggin’ my heart around”

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April 7, 2007. Uncategorized.

17 Comments

  1. Meredith replied:

    Oh my. You know how some men look better with age? In my opinion Tom Petty isn’t one of them. But who knew (besides you) that he was so sexy when he was younger!

  2. Patrice replied:

    OH my god. I can’t believe you were smoking pot with “X” and Prissy…I went to a slumber party at ‘Prissy’s’ house when I was in middle school; they had the coolest wurlitzer organ way out there in those woods…and she had lots of brothers who tried to terrify us all night.

    Ok, I saw Tom Petty on Damn the Torpedos (with Maria McKee of Lone Justice (or something like that…she wore a floral dress with black combat boots) and I remember thinking, “All my girlfriends would make fun of me if they knew I thought Tom Petty was hot”. All the while, you were pining away and I had no idea!

    Just remember, when Tom and Stevie were doing ‘Stop Dragging My Heart Around’, Stevie was thinking about Lindsey.

  3. Dessie replied:

    Oh. My. God.

    But those bad boys did look hot didn’t they?!

  4. ginab replied:

    Oh, I was glad to make you roll with laughter before! Here I’m thinking Tom really needs to see himself. Or I wonder, what is goofy about “steaming coolness”? There’s a glitch there I’m thinking related to physics but then there is hot ice. TP makes me think of hot ice.

    Getting caught lipping to a record by a parent though complete with a hook out to hang a hat must be worth a collection of essays. The theme? Getting caught by a parent.

    I’m serious.

    I’m thinking!

    -ginab

  5. Minge replied:

    I think you are hot Matty, but Tom Petty is as ugly as sin. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  6. Josh Williams replied:

    I know not what I speak but Tom Petty is not labled in the OED as a example of handsome. Stevie and Tom sitting in a tree…etc…

  7. matty03 replied:

    Lovely Meredith! Yes! Wasn’t he hot back then! I know. I still think he’s hot today, tho. Mainly because I just think he is so cool.

    Shu-Shu!!! LOL! Yes! …but I never went to Prissy’s house. If I did, I don’t remember that. I remember when you saw TPH and LJ!!! I was so jealous!! …and, yes, apparently Stevie only ever thinks of Lindsey. oy! I’m still in recovery from Stevie’s cover of the Led Zep song. I love Stevie, but that was a mistake. It hurt me, Patrice.

  8. matty03 replied:

    Dessie! I know — It was soooo humiliating! Yep. They were a hot bunch of boys back in their day! …sigh.

    Gina! LOL! I think dry ice is an appropriate thing to think of. So cool — they were ice cold! So ice cold — they were dangerous to the touch! LOL!

    Minge – Thank you saying that I’m hot. I love you.

    Commander Josh, Oh but he is in my Book-o-Hot!

  9. ing replied:

    I always thought Tom Petty was quite hot, and very cool, as well. But I remember about ten years ago when a guy told me I looked like Tom Petty, and I also remember feeling very insulted (which I think was his intention). I did what I had to do: I pretended to be extremely pleased and flattered. But I was secretly crushed. That look is much, much better on a man than it is on a woman.

  10. matty03 replied:

    ING!

    …You just made me laugh so hard I had to spit my water on the floor and I almost wet myself!

    Stop it! Stop that!

    Ing! Did you just turn into Joan Rivers in The Oak Room!?!?

    No one said that to you! If someone did then that person was a total loser and an idiot. I will have to go set him straight!

    You are gorgeous, sexy and beautiful! At least ten men checked you out in the span of 5 minutes when we were at the beach today!

    Tom Petty! Stop it!

    And, now I need to get some more water and go to bed!
    kisses, matty

  11. Kevin replied:

    Ummm, I’m having a hard time picturing this. Maybe you could re-enact it for me … US … for US … yeah …. us ….

  12. matty03 replied:

    Kevin — Picture me at 15, jock strap and playing wilding the air guitar. …and, my father trying to decide how he can best exit the room.

    It was horrible!!!! And, on top of that — I had a hard-on.

    I could never re-enact this moment.

    Best left in a quiet place. LOL!

  13. Meredith replied:

    I blogged once about a dream I had in which Tom Petty had these cool shoes and I tried desperately to remember them when I woke up because they were made of silver (like the metal). I can’t remember now but I think we were involved, me and Tom Petty. Come to think of it, I dream about Tom Petty a lot. What’s with that? I think it has something to do with the Aqua Aerobics class I took in which they played Free Falling and I started to cry. In my dreams Tom Petty is always this fabulous lover and we are utterly absorbed in each other. Sigh. That’s all just so ridiculous I should delete it. But I’m not going to.

  14. Kevin replied:

    Aside from the embarrassment, I think a re-enactment could be just what the doctor ordered. And by doctor, I mean me.

    I’m naughty.

  15. matty03 replied:

    Lovely Meredith! I’m so glad you didn’t delete it! I wish I could say I dream of Tom Petty, but I don’t. I’d like to have metal shoes. Maybe I shall dream about this now! yay!

    Dr. Kevin — You are naughty! Are you taking pleasure in my shame?!!? LOL!

  16. Tim replied:

    Ouch! That’s gotta be one of those memories that just make you physically cringe! But now of course, you’re older and wiser. Unless B has any evidence to the contrary?! Re: Tom Petty, hmm, I guess I missed him the first time round, and now he doesn’t really do it for me I’m afraid. Ah well.

  17. matty replied:

    Tim – Yes, that moment still makes me cringe! Oh, just take a look at the vid clip for Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around! Awesome! …tho, I seem to be in the minority here.

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