My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Call Me Miss Level-Headed


Recent Conversation with Dusty:

“Do you cry?”


“Why do you cry?”

“If I’m sad, I’ll cry.”

“Like if you miss your mommy and daddy?”

“Well…when I miss you. Or, if I’m hurt.”

“Like if a monster stepped on your head?”

“Yeah, that would make me cry.”

What almost makes me cry is getting a phone message from my husband this morning that says, “We’ve been in an accident.” Fortunately, this was followed by, “We’re both okay.” The car sustained some damage but Dusty’s cool (shaken but not stirred) and Daddy’s mad.

I’m sad that Johnny Ramone is dead, but not enough to cry. I was sad when Joe Strummer died. And, since fall is my Season of Melancholy, rock star deaths such as these make me think about my youth. I was not always old (but I may have always been boring—I’m not the person to ask about that) and I used to be fairly hip, at least in my own mind. Back in 1983, my usual uniform was a rockin’ pair of black jeans with a LOT of spandex in them and short red leather boots and an old Bowie concert t-shirt (black, sleeves torn off, natch). I also wore a fedora on occasion. Yeah, man. I was also thin back then, with a decent ass, so it was all good. Now? Not so much. I have no ability to gauge my outer self anymore but the extra baby pounds dismay me, as do the stretch marks. Oh well. Whaddyagonnado? I’m going to tell you a story about when I was young and pseudo-hip and a risk taker and……..level-headed, apparently. (See “boring,” above)

Gather round children. Have another organic chocolate chip cookie and a cup of soy milk and I’ll tell you about the time I met The Clash. The who? No, they were another band. The Clash were the It band of the day and they were coming to William & Mary. My good friend and I wanted to go. Our other good friend (see previous freshhell episodes), The Hermit, who at this time had been forceably removed to Vermont by her bizarro father and his mid-life crisis, had seen The Clash up north and told us which roadie would be willing to cough up a couple of backstage passes if we went to the W&M show. So, we left school after town meeting (town what? I went to an Al-ter-na-tive high school, children. They had town meetings and shit.) and got tickets on the next Greyhound going to Williamsburg. At the bus station, we met a girl named Star who was, I think, undergoing treatment for a former Stevie Nicks addiction and had left home in North Carolina just to see The Clash play at W&M. She had no ticket to the show. We had no tickets either, for that matter. That’s how certain we were that somehow we’d find this particular roadie and procure backstage passes and life would be grand. We adopted Star and promised her one, too.

I know what you’re thinking. But you’d be wrong. We got to the concert hall, wandered aimlessly around for awhile and found the roadie, explained how things were, and GOT THE BACKSTAGE PASSES. So, now we’re feeling like bad asses and suddenly the roadie crooks his finger at me. Oops. He attempted to feel me out in terms of our level of, shall we say, friendliness and appreciation for the gift of backstage passes, “because you seem like the most level-headed of the bunch,” and we both looked across the empty concert floor (the college gym) at Good Friend and Star cringing and staring at their feet, and somehow I managed to promise nothing in a nice way. I do not recall a single other word he said to me but I realized that, in order to keep the backstage passes, we were going to have to make ourselves invisible until the concert started. What we did with ourselves, I cannot remember. We might have gotten something to eat. What we DIDN’T do was hang around the gym until scads of fans started showing up.

So, the concert was excellent. I got pulled up onto the stage during some outburst of slam dancing that pushed me up against a barrier and I watched most of the concert from the wings, sitting on one of the band’s instrument cases. We went back stage, met the band (greasy does not begin to describe their outer selves), Mick was reading Albert Goldman’s book on Elvis and his girlfriend shrieked when Good Friend picked it up and the book mark fell out. “Mick, she lost your place! Mick!” Shut the fuck up.

I still have the sign from their dressing room door – signed by all of them. But, alas, it’s not eBayable because I think I covered the whole thing in clear shelf liner years ago to prevent the signatures from fading. Did I mention I was smart? No? Good. Let’s keep it that way.

Elated and amazed at our incredible luck, we suddenly realized we had no way home. I called my mom (being the level-headed and responsible one) who bitched about my stupidity, her lack of night vision, and told me to call my dad. Can you feel the love?

I called my dad. He came and fetched us. It was 2:00am. It was a very quiet 45 minute ride home. I don’t remember what we did with Star. She might still be there.


4:08 p.m. ::
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