Thank you so much! I had a blast with that one! lol
Thank you to author Sherry Carroll for the below guest post about her book ‘Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales: The Flight of the Sherry Fairy‘. I must confess to not knowing a great deal about the subject!
Hi there, thanks for checking me out. I’m Sherry Carroll the Author of “Even Rock and Roll has Fairy Tales: The Flight of the Sherry Fairy” (and more)
Now my Kind of- Sort of a serious Bio. Or, at least, as close as I am ever going to get to making one. L So you want to know about little ole me? Aw, thank you ever so much. So without further ado, my story
Hmmmm… well, If you were to take Janis Joplin, Scarlet O Hara, Bette Midler , Mary Poppins , Carrie Fisher, Gracie Allen…
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Some thoughts on your birthday. And what you taught ME about Life and Rock and Roll
We are at the Hilton in Baltimore, line-up was some insignificant band supporting BOC, I forget who. But it wasn’t The Who, that’s for sure. We had no interest in BOC, we were very young then and they weren’t pretty enough for the infamous Sherry and Shari. Who weren’t infamous then, but were certainly working on it as fast and as furiously as we could. But we were really just little kids.
We were there to see the Hottest , Baddest Boys on the Rock Scene, the Raucous Rodeo Clowns and Rock and Roll Gods of the late seventies, VAN HALEN, who were also on the bill.
Alex had been terrorizing the lobby all afternoon. His favorite trick was to ride up and down in the elevator with an aerosol spray paint can, and every time the doors would open he would take a lighter and shoot a flaming fireball at the unsuspecting women and children trying to board. It was hilarious at 3 am. Not so funny at 4 in the afternoon.
The Miami dolphins were staying in the same hotel. They were infuriated at all the babes in the place were paying ANY attention to them. So they had taken to riding those huge rolling luggage carts drunkenly up and down the corridors begging for favors! HA! We were rock chicks. They didn’t stand a chance.
At last call Diamond Dave had decided that all the ancient, slutty, worn out local groupies at the party were pretty much the best of the bunch and all there was to offer and there would be no Malibu Barbie’s arriving anytime in the near future to answer his Rock God prayers so I was the lucky winner of that nights” Win a date with Dave” lottery.
As we went upstairs in the elevator at last call one of the guys in BOC says to Dave
” Robbing the ice cream parlors, are we now?” (I looked about 12 until I was thirty)
I had lost the other Shari hours earlier, no idea how, when, where or why (until morning) Turns out she and Eddie had disappeared way earlier. Evidently he didn’t wait for last call, or divine intervention, when he saw what HE liked, he WENT for it
So after several fabulous hours with just a gigalo, he says to me
” Hey babe, I’m pretty hungry, how about you go get me a couple burgers?
And hands me a couple of hundred dollar bills. This seems A Bit excessive to me, burgers being about two bucks each, and I thought it a TAD inconsiderate to send me OUT ONTO THE STREETS OF THE SLUMS OF DOWNTOWN BALTIMORE AT FOUR AM, but I’m a game girl, and didn’t want to be rude and I was trying to be nice
(Looking back I wonder…… Hmmmm, I wonder if MAYBE, he was TRYING to GET RID OF ME! Lol ! )
Nawwww I’m sure he was just hungry after all that excitement. Well, I wasn’t that excited. Dave was the kind of guy who thought the privilege of being with him was reward enough in itself so even at my tender age i was pretty unimpressed. But he was. And surprised.
As I said, I was a lot older than I looked.
BELIEVE IT OR Not, I actually was so young and stupid I went out on the deserted streets in the dark in the murder capital of the nation, found a Jack in the box open at four am and came back WITH two burgers , both for Dave ( mustard and onions, I took a guess) and didn’t get myself ANYTHING, after all, it was HIS money. And I forgot to ask if that would be okay! LOL
So I come back twenty minutes later and knock on the door…
He’s like” WHAT? “and I’m like…” back with the burgers” …
and he’s like… “SERIOUSLY? “
But he must have been hungry (or in a complete state of shock I returned instead of robbing him and heading off on my merry way) because instead telling me to fuck off he let me in and I was there until lunch time the next day. I guess the burgers gave him a second wind. When it was time to go I tracked down Shari, or rather Dave did; he knew I wasn’t leaving without her. And he was dying to have me gone.
But to his credit, he ddidn’t have the chutzpah to come out and say so. Or the lack of common decency to turn someone so young and naïve out on the streets AGAIN at five am so he could be left alone to sleep in peace. Although, I would have been like “OHHHHHH, WHY didn’t you just SAY SO? Okay. “
And we found her in Eddie’s room. Still wearing the stockings and stilettos she had been sporting the night before, and nothing else, although a bit worse for wear and tear!
(Hey Valerie Bertinelli, don’t look so INNOCENT! I KNOW STUFF ABOUT YOU)
We had no idea how we are going to get home but when Eddie offered Shari a hundred dollar bill for cab fare ( much classier than Dave trying to trick me into sneaking out on him in the middle of the night) I finally put all the pieces together and how we laughed about how shocked ( and pissed off ) he must have been when i knocked on the hotel room door with the food.
And I decided that was the first and last time I was going to go off with a pretty boy with no brains and no real interest in me except as the the only decent option left on an off night. From now on, it was only going to be people I really liked, and who really liked me back and wanted more than one night and not me to be the kind of girl who would take the money and run.
ANY WAY…Happy Sixty th Birthday you rock and roll bad boy, From the Sherry Fairy
Anyway there’s a lot more to tell but that’s another story for another time….
When THE BOYS COME BACK!
First the official description, then mine of the Show in Germantown Md
4th Annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up At The Movies – Beat Club 4/21/72
We’re brimmin’ with Bremen over at Dead.net! That’s right, the festivities surrounding the 4th Annual Meet-Up At The Movies: Beat Club 4/21/72 have started early for us. If you haven’t purchased your ticket for this one-night only event featuring the never-before-seen Beat Club studio performance in its entirety, restored from the original broadcast 2” quad video and audio mixed and mastered from the original analog tapes, let us set the scene with the official liner notes plucked from the sold out Europe ’72: The Complete Recordings boxed set.
All that most of the world knows about the city of Bremen in northern Germany is that once upon a time, long ago, there were these four old animals—a cat, a dog, a donkey and a rooster—who left their farms in the countryside and headed towards Bremen, where they hoped to live out their days as musicians. Oh, wait—that didn’t really happen. That’s the old Brothers Grimm fairy tale, The Town Musicians of Bremen. Fast forward. When the Grateful Dead—which included a few cats, a bird and a pig—hit Bremen in the third week of April in ’72, the city was still a destination for traveling musicians, thanks to a popular television program that emanated from there, called Beat-Club.
Beat-Club was Germany’s first major rock ’n’ roll TV show, on the air monthly (or so) since September 1965 (through the end of 1972). Typically, each program would feature several acts, some shot live in the rather sterile Studio 3 of Radio Bremen, and others appearing on film or video supplied from elsewhere. Basically, everyone who was anyone in rock music in the late ’60s and early ’70s showed up on Beat-Club at one time or another—and so did a lot of acts no one in the U.S. has ever heard of! Typically, a band taping in Bremen for Beat-Club would have a song or two appear on the monthly program a few weeks later, and one suspects that most acts probably came to the studio with a good idea of what song(s) they wanted to highlight, and knocked it out quickly.
Ah, but things were a little different when the Grateful Dead rolled into town with their tie-dyed amps, their entourage of long-haired “family,” and their recording truck parked outside. Maybe the Dead knew that day that “One More Saturday Night” would be the song that would air on the May 27 edition of the Beat-Club program, but they sure didn’t act that way. Instead, after a sound check that included “Loser” and “Black-Throated Wind,” they played a remarkable 80-minute set that mixed short songs with big jamming tunes, including two charged versions of “Playing in the Band,” and a spectacular “Truckin’” > “Other One” sequence that is more than 30 minutes long. That the band could play this well in front of a bunch German TV technicians, rather than their usual sea of swaying and flailing hippies, is amazing. That it was all captured in crystal-clear close-up video is truly a gift from the Gods (and if there’s any justice in the universe, the Gods will someday allow that video to be released commercially).
But even studying the aural document is fascinating. For one thing, the sound is recording-studio-clear, with no venue ambience or crowd seeping into the mics. And it’s not just an ordinary show: Garcia only sings two numbers, Pigpen one, and Bob six. After Jerry casually says “we’re rolling,” Bobby shouts into the microphone, “Ladies and gentlemen, the Grrrrrateful Dead!” and the band kicks into “Bertha,” crisp and energetic, but marred by a couple of lyric flaws. Then comes “Playing in the Band,” which the group pulled out at every stop on the Europe tour, and was great every single night. Jerry is all over the wah-wah pedal during the middle jam, making it growl and cry and squeal. “Mr. Charlie” is just about letter-perfect.
That is followed by our first do-over of the day—a luxury afforded by the fact there is no audience and this isn’t a “concert” per se. About a minute into “Sugaree,” Jerry says, “Hold it, hold it. Somebody played the wrong changes in there” (cough-Pigpen-cough), so they start at the top again. A few tunes later, Bobby halts a second version of “Playing” after he blows the first line: “Some folks trust in treason,” he sings. (It’s not clear why they do “Playing” again, as the first version was excellent. But the one that comes after the flub is even better, with a more intense middle section and much mind-bending bass work from Phil. Maybe they were more warmed-up second time ’round.) The final song-stopping calamity comes on “Truckin’,” after Bob completely spaces his entrance to the first verse, leading to the band hilariously attempting a shutdown of the song that’s all discordant crashing and colliding instruments, like some catastrophic orchestra mishap in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Second time is the charm, though, and the group nails it and kicks off the long and exciting journey mentioned above.
“The Other One” that emerges from a short post-“Truckin’” drum solo by Billy is full of drive and fire, like snorting and snarling horses galloping through Germany’s mysterious Black Forest. But it’s the six minutes after the second verse of “The Other One” that I want to highlight. The band doesn’t seem to have any idea about what, if any, song they might play next (surely they were past their allotted taping time and the German sound and TV crew were wondering whether this jamathon was ever going to end), so the Dead just float from one musical notion to the next. Squealing feedback gives way to a brief lilting jam. At one point Billy clicks into a little groove and the others follow and it develops into one of those lovely passages that feels familiar but isn’t quite—are those hints of “Wharf Rat”? Is “Sugar Magnolia” around that bend? Instead they keep drifting about—Jerry gets into a hypnotic finger-picking pattern at one point—until it all just peters out. There’s a pause and then they suddenly build up one of their big, chaotic endings, which is a mess worthy of the laugh that follows it. And with that, the Town Musicians of Bremen were gone.
I never had a chance to see The Grateful Dead proper with Jerry so I was only familiar from the albums and you tube clips but this was like a fantastic concert done as a rehearsal complete with do overs, band banter and many real funny and touching moments that showed why the band is so beloved by their fans.
Just as I suspected there were very few Dead heads in the suburban Md. neighborhood near me the turnout was only about fifty but fun souls. They were all very nice and in the mood and “on the vibe.” Instead of doing that thing that everyone does nowadays, putting as much space as possible and as many empty seats as possible in between you and the people also in the same theater (so you don’t get stranger danger cooties) the local dead head annex chapter all piled into one section together. After bit of rough start, one of the unruly crowd ” and thank you ma’am” had to go tell the manager no tunes were playing during the intro trivia questions as intended which worked a charm and she took a well-deserved bow.
The crowd started getting revved up as the show began with a mini-studio interview with Bobby then it really took off! Every eye roll, little joke, stoned grinding of teeth was greeted with giggles and catcalls and after a while they really loosened up and beach balls started ringing around the theater just like a real gig. It didn’t last long though, because the music was so good that no one really enjoyed the distraction after the initial joke was played out. The show ended way too soon and rather abruptly but you heard no one complaining. After all, it was midweek in Germantown MD and everyone was probably happy to be out by nine, and there wasn’t a soul who could say they weren’t satisfied with what they got.
I saw The Dead without Jerry for the first time a few years ago right in the heart of Washing on DC stadium style at the Convention Center and paid more for average tickets than I’ve ever paid for a show in my life on a resale site. Jerry would have rolled over in his grave. While I got the benefit of the whole Dead experience, the travelers and vendors and notorious followers of every tour it was made even more bizarre by the fact the whole “deadhead “carnival was taking place in an empty concrete parking lot among the imposing stone federal buildings. It was everything I was told it would be and more, though I was incredulous all that would take place in the heart of “Our Nation’s Capital”
Those that traveled with every show were quite guarded and a bit self-conscious at being gawked at by your typical stuffy Dc crowd but were very lovely individually if you didn’t treat them like a freak show to point and laugh at, which is probably what they had become used to and expected, more so than ever here. I got a firsthand experience with their legendary loving, sharing vibe I never expected because I was limping that night from a poor shoe choice that gave me terrible blisters and a lovely young lady I bought a tie – dye tank top from chased me 10 blocks down the street and just handed me the loveliest pair of yellow hand dyed socks for free. She refused to take money and then disappeared as magically as she came and I was healed by her kindness and then I could enjoy the show pain- free. I treasure those socks to this day. And the Dead even Jerry-Less were pretty friggin amazing.
But nothing could compare to this film experience. Jerry and the band at their finest, at least for someone who had never seen him, only heard him, not just musically but as himself, in his element with the band, in the best of spirits and in their prime, sharing their personalities and love for what they do with us as intimately as if you were the only one there. By myself, in a crowd, but never for one moment, feeling alone.
After the show I popped across the street for a drink and I guess the hot new hair color I got for the Queen concert this weekend and new dress were working because not only did I get carded I got hit on four times in the half hour I was there ! GO ME! Lol
The night was a fine one I will never forget. And it wasn’t a long strange trip I had been on all along, like the rest. I was a hitchhiker. Only recently discovering someone like me I would fit in on the bus and how much I was like those who had always before seemed so different 30 years ago. But isn’t that the point? Everyone’s welcome to join in the band. Those aren’t just song lyrics. They are a philosophy and a way of life. And it lives on. And I, for one, am very grateful.
CHAPTER ONE: THE FLIGHT OF THE FAIRY
By the time the sun started to rise over the Great Lakes I had almost managed to convince myself that maybe I wasn’t crazy after all. Stressed? Sure. Way too old for this nonsense? Okay, you got me there! Thirty-eight was way too old and it was way too late to run away from home, so that was a very good possibility. Exhausted? No, not just yet, still a bit too soon and too early in the trip. I was bound to get that way at some point, but I would worry about that when it happened. At the moment, I was having fun. That was the important thing. The most fun I had had in years.
The Shiny Happy Sherry Fairy takes flight again! And I loved every moment of it.
The closer I got to my destination, the more convinced I was that this was the right choice. With every mile I left behind me, I could feel myself becoming more exhilarated. There was no mistaking it! Magic was in the air. Or maybe it was out there waiting just for me, around the next corner, all this time. Okay, more like hundreds of miles away. Wondering what the hell had taken me so long. I was getting closer every minute I could already feel it. I was sure it had begun to feel me. Approaching rapidly and relentlessly, running years too late, but inevitably one of these days bound to arrive.
I guess it was a somewhat reckless decision on my part, at close to 10 p.m. on a perfectly ordinary Thursday night, to take off on a long distance road trip to see a man in a band; just like back in the good old days when I was young and foolish, with no real life, no actual responsibilities, and no fear or common sense at all. In this case, this band featured my old flame, Eric Burdon, sinner, singer and front-man extraordinaire, formerly founding member of one of the world’s greatest classic British invasion bands. My very favorite man of all the men who made music in any band I had ever seen or known, and the reason I was spending all night tearing wildly down the highway in the family minivan headed for a weekend-long festival, hundreds of miles from home.
The morning light (what little of it there was, so far) had emerged above the horizon, as pure and bright as liquid silver, sparkling, shimmering, and pulsating. I had never seen anything quite like it before, and I am sure I never will again in this lifetime. Gentle but relentless mists of rain had been thoroughly drenching the van for hours, providing a damp silent cloud that muffled and masked every exterior sound. A thick, dense fog was slowly emerging from the mirror-like surface of the lake. Steam lifted from the highway in the rapidly rising late July morning heat. The tires were kicking out a spray of fine water vapor almost as high as the windows.
It was impossible to tell anymore what was sky, air, water, or ground and exactly at what point they separated, started, or stopped. Everything around me was in shades of grey, but in every conceivable texture, consistency, and variation. The whole world had turned into a soft, out-of-focus, black and white silent film. It was all so extraordinarily strange for someone so unfamiliar with the phenomenon and far from home, yet somehow perfectly appropriate and exquisitely beautiful.
I am the only thing in full, vivid, glorious Technicolor. When the sun finally does manage to creep its way through the fog from the lake and take a quick peek over the horizon, I can tell it is embarrassed to show itself because it cannot begin to compete with my heat, outshine my colors, or ever hope to melt my wings. I fly high tonight on old memories and new dreams, fueled by unforgettable emotions, promises from the past, and cheap truck stop speed washed down with huge Styrofoam cups of powerful, lukewarm black coffee.
I almost wish I were chain smoker.
There should be a cloud of aromatic silver smoke swirling inside the van as well, intoxicating me, with the scent of the thrill of ever distant, unfamiliar air that meant freedom. Sucking it down, drawing it in, as if I need it just to keep breathing. Trailing flaming sparks and blackened ash, more like gunpowder than fairy dust as I soar along the highway. Firing up a new fresh buzz and frantically stubbing out the drained remains of the old one, with cotton-candy-colored chipped and chewed fingernails as each minute and mile passed, the tray filled to overflowing as the spent remnants tumbled out all over the carpet.
It certainly would have suited a character in the divine melodrama currently featured. However, in this reel I was cast and costumed to be the Glamorous Starlet. Certainly not destined to be the Figure of Tragedy or the Villain but quite likely, the occasional Comic Relief. So my nails were quite expertly manicured in the pink French tip style; it was, after all, a special occasion.
In reality, in all these years I had managed to escape ever becoming a slave to the filthy, disgusting habit of actually sucking down cancer sticks. I always felt everyone should have one bad habit they could not or would not ever indulge in, and smoking always seemed out of them all to be the least fun. So long ago, I swore out of all the vices it would be the one I would forever do without. I had tried most of the others at one point or another in my life and they were all a lot more fun than tobacco, believe me.
I didn’t really care that I hadn’t been able to reach Eric to warn him I was coming. I didn’t even know myself until a few hours before I left. I had done it before, more times, than I could remember since we had first met twenty years ago, and it had always worked out just fine every time. He was always gracious and appeared happy to see me, even when he never expected me to be there. We shared some very good times that way for a long time.
When I first met Eric, I had just turned eighteen and he was in his late thirties. He hadn’t had any hits on the radio lately, or built up much of a solo career touring in the States. I guess you might say he was in a bit of a slump. It was nothing like the days on the road when he was a star in one of the biggest bands in the world. However, times had changed, and so had popular music. Punk and disco were not his forte or his friends, and they were not my taste either. I did not buy those records or know who any of those people were, but I sure knew who he was. His original band, The Animals was one of my favorite groups.
Nevertheless, he was still so gorgeous then, extremely sexy and extraordinarily talented even if the fickle fans of the Top 40 seemed to have lost interest. Dark shaggy hair, fantastic smile, that sexy soft English accent combined with his fame, charm, outspoken personality and big, rich, soulful voice. He had a powerful presence, impossible to overlook or ignore whether packaged for market in a stiff suit, silk shirts, fringe and fur, denim and leather, or tie-dye
He was accustomed to living the life of a rock-and-roll legend, playing everywhere from the hottest clubs to the biggest stadiums just as he had since he had his first hit record barely out of his teens. He had always seemed pretty stiff, quite serious, very hard and tough, when I had seen him in pictures in fan magazines or on TV.
However, he was much softer than I ever expected or imagined at the time I met him. He was charming, lighthearted, and joyous. Playful and mischievous, with a certain impish quality that could completely disarm you, which women all over the world found irresistible. Notorious for his very bad attitude and very big mouth and infamous for the celebrated company he kept and their well-chronicled, inebriated antics. He had been living and loving a lifestyle of extremes and excess, which almost managed to overshadow his talent, which was, quite formidable.
Enter the Shiny Happy Sherry Fairy.
A perfect landing right on cue, front row and center.
Where I could get a good look at him and be sure he got one of me.
Just a naive little freckle-faced redheaded American kid from the suburbs, who somehow ended up in just the right, or the wrong place as Eric that particular night. Done up like a birthday present in a pink flowered sundress and white hair ribbons and a pair of sky-high–heeled platform sandals. Clearly, it was a match made in rock-and-roll heaven. I was struck completely deaf, dumb, blind, and stupid by the size of the stars he put into my eyes.
But I had called a halt to my years as backstage teen queen when I was 22 and gave the whole ridiculous scene up over 15 years ago. I had just had enough. The time had come.
Rock and roll is a cold, ugly business and was bound to break your heart, ruin your life, steal your spirit, and destroy your soul sooner or later, inevitably.
If it did not kill you first.
However, odds are it would do them all eventually, if you did not get out when you had the chance, or if you were not very smart, very tough, very lucky, or very careful.
Deep down, I suspected I was just not enough of any of the above.
In fact, I was sure of it.
By almost twenty-three, I was ready for real men, not immature egomaniacs with drumsticks, microphones, and guitars, and their debris of damaged hearts and hotel rooms with skeletons scattered in every club, closet and cupboard in every corner, all over the world. Fed up with being one of the beautiful fragile young creatures constantly mooning over them, swooning at the sight of them, left behind when they went, secretly stashed away or blatantly paraded beside them before being worn out, used up, well fucked and then fucked over, destroyed and discarded. There were always plenty more, waiting.
Eric couldn’t seem to understand why I had such a problem with all this. It was all he had ever known for a long time. He had been doing it almost his whole life, but I wanted something different for me and mine. So he did kept doing what he knew how to do best, what he always did, stayed on the road, living his life, wherever or whatever that was to be after.
I made the decision to completely change mine.
Decided to go home, find myself a real man, a good one, and settle down, get happily married and try never to look back. I just forgot all about those days, stopped caring about that world and made a new one of my own. I went to the local University and got a degree in Education, bought a big house in the suburbs, opened a private pre-school, filled it with kids, love and laughter. Gave up the men and music, the makeup and miniskirts, the drugs and the decadence, the hard living and easy dying and traded it all in for self-respect, security, safety, and sanity. I paid my dues and earned righteousness and responsibility and bought a ticket to ride on the “American Dream”
I worked my way up to the dizzying heights of the very pinnacle of suburban success and earned my rightful place in the real world and proper society. Became a shining example of proper modern womanhood, a wife, mother, business person, you know, what they call a “role model.” Just another one of the cold, grey, stone pillars of virtue that support and protect the community and make the “real world” go endlessly round. My whole life revolved around my job, house, husband and family. I completely lost interest in rock and roll. I had outgrown it. I was uninterested and unimpressed and no longer a part of it.
I wouldn’t even buy a record or go to a show except to see Eric or a few other really good friends, who I still kept in touch with. I just wanted to have nothing to do with all its nonsense.
Looking back, to him then, I think that must have been my appeal.
Through the years, I went to every gig to see him. But I always came home just as soon as it ended. With Eric and me, it wasn’t really safe to do anything else. Our unlikely association had now gone on for over twenty years, which was quite surprising, to us just as much as anyone else, because our lives were so very different. Especially since the average length of most of his relationships with girls on the road was lucky to be room service breakfast the next morning.
I always felt I had spent the last 15 years of my life in disguise.
Hiding behind huge owl-ish schoolteacher glasses with my wild red hair and big, bold personality kept well in check. Constantly covert, controlled, restricted, constricted, and well-contained. Living with the choice I had made to be non-threatening, unappealing, uninteresting and innocuous in order to conform, progress and succeed because it was appropriate for my station and position in this place and time, for the life I had chosen to live from now on.
Surprisingly, as it turned out, I loved it. Even though I spent every single minute all those years, busting my ass every single day, overworked, unappreciated, undervalued, and covered with multicolored crayons, apple juice, and baby spit. I adored the children I took care of; it was the parents, the childcare administration, the community and the monotony I could not stand. I was happy doing it all for a very long time.
Until one day, for no one explosive or explainable definable reason, I just was not happy at all anymore. Call it a mid-life crisis, or the fifteen-year itch, or some form of temporary insanity. All I knew was it was time to do something else. Something different, I just had no idea at all what that could be.
I think the last straw was on the day I had changed my three hundred thousandth dirty diaper, in the week that four different mothers had “forgotten” their checkbooks on payday, in a month that I hadn’t left my house where even once, in the year I finally knew my marriage was over. I tossed the last diaper I would ever change in the can and said out loud to myself.
”That’s it. I’ve had enough! I would rather shovel coal or kiss the devils ass daily or flip burgers with my bare hands at the McDonald’ s in Hades for the rest of eternity then do any of this one single minute longer! I QUIT”.
And sure enough, I did, at the end of that week.
And that was about six months ago.
As I got ready to go “The Animals Greatest Hits” on old vinyl blasts, crackle and hissed through my cheap, crappy, boring, affordable old respectable suburban married type people’s stereo speakers. Nothing like the equipment I used to have back when I was young, single and foolish with plenty of spending cash, and music, and, the men who made it and nothing else was my very reason for living. I made sure to sing along with every single song, completely off key and with ever growing conviction and even greater enthusiasm, getting increasingly louder and out of tune, while I do the electric boogaloo around the bedroom in my old grannie panties.
Eric and I do a duet. We are bloody marvelous! We always were, even if I do say so myself. And I think even he would have to agree. I opened the windows wide to make sure the old prune next door can be sure not to miss a note.
I dug through the disorganized mess on the floor of the closet of our bedroom. What a mess, a complete disaster, all these things that were scattered haphazardly and left behind when he left with all of his, and I still hadn’t sorted it all out yet these many months later. No, I guess I mean my bedroom now. Wade my way through a huge pile of ugly smelly old worn out old sneakers. I hadn’t bought any other shoes for as long as I could remember. The same ones I had worn every single day for the last 15 years when I finally dragged myself out of bed at 6 am in the morning and threw on the nearest semi-clean tee shirt I could find with my eyes still half closed, hopefully without too much grape jelly or baby formula stains all over it. And didn’t get to take off until frequently way after midnight when I finally collapsed into bed in exhaustion. There they were, thank God! I was starting to panic! My favorite tall black leather boots. For a minute I thought that it just might be possible in a moment of madness I could have foolishly decided they were no more than some sort of obsolete garbage and just carelessly and callously given or tossed them away.
But no, not gone, just out of sight and definitely way out of my mind. Just like me these days, evidently.
There once was a time wearing anything else would be unthinkable!
They were my prized possession. Now look at them, all roughly mistreated and miserable. Just shoved in there, and evidently completely abandoned, stuck down at the bottom underneath a bunch of old dirty everyday crap, no longer a priority much less a necessity, just weighted down now, helpless, useless, smothered, overwhelmed and overpowered. Exiled by the others for being strange and different and therefore (until now) banished! They had clearly hit very rock bottom, reduced to pathetically cowering in the very back of the deepest darkest of corners. What a crying shame! This is footwear that lives to see and be seen! With their mile-high chunky heels, the corset lacing in the back and the silver three inch embossed square buckles and studs!
Oh dear, looks like I better give them a good polish first though, since they too are quite old and dull these days and seem so close to worn down and out and have apparently become just a bit too much their owner these days, both looking and feeling pretty lackluster. I cradled them in my arms and then lovingly rubbed every inch of their dried out wrinkled old hide with moisturizing, nourishing beeswax.
“Poor babies, you’re a mess! How could I have let such a thing happen? You are in need of some serious help if you ask me! All you really need is just a little time and attention, somebody to notice you and take you out and take care of you and show you a good time! That will really sort you out, wont it? “
“Well, let’s get right to work, I just hope that it’s not way too late to save you!”
And they came up a treat, bright and shiny as new; I thought that was a very good sign. Clearly they were just as fed up as I was of being bored and neglected, cooped up, crushed, and falsely imprisoned! And were just as thrilled to no longer be forgotten and buried alive just hoping and waiting for the wonderful day they get a well-deserved and long overdue chance to “that thing they do” once again before they go off to the Great Shoe store in the Sky.
Now what? I had almost forgotten how all this was done. I glared at my reflection in the dressing room mirror, and it stared just as rebelliously and defiantly back.
“Oh, so that’s how it’s going to be, eh?”
“Ok, you scoundrel, I accept your challenge! En grade! And may the best man win!”
With great trepidation I lured the rabid red badger that lived on my head and pretended to be hair out of the rubber restraints of its perpetual ponytail prison. It had grown almost comatose out of sheer boredom and inhumane levels of neglect over the last 15 years. I unleashed it, grabbed a tight hold on it, and violently shook it and shocked out of its slumber, then jumped in the shower and squirted steaming then ice cold water all over it, moussed it and mussed it, spritzed it and sprayed it, until at long last it showed some renewed signs of life. Then fried it, dyed it, baked and burned it and teased and attacked and tormented it with no mercy until it was once again a scary wild out of control dangerous beastie.
Once I had its full attention I laid down the ground rules.
“Ok, I don’t like you, and I know you really hate me, but can we at least try to cooperate with each other for just a couple of days? It’s really important! And by the way it’s nice to have you back, I really have missed you, you evil soulless mean furry critter!”
I thought I heard it growl just a little bit but it didn’t try to devour or strangle me, so I took that as agreement to the truce and a halfhearted promise to at least make some attempt to behave.
Eventually, I managed to track down my favorite fab bunny-soft slate grey suede miniskirt with the white stitching. In a box in the attic that said “SHERRY’S USELESS CRAP” in great big black definitive letters written with permanent ink.
“That’s what you think you silly box, what do you know?”
I fling the contents of my underwear drawer around the room and finally decide to shimmy into slinky black and white zebra striped demi- bra trimmed with frilly hot pink lace and of course, just a FEW tasteful and strategically placed sparkly pink sequins. After all, I grinned, I wouldn’t want to look like some sort of cheap floozy! I always had plenty of nice sexy things like this fairly close at hand, always and forever still worth the investment. Just in case. Of what, I wasn’t sure. That was my little secret. And of course, the mysterious Victoria’s.
Now… for the top? I think maybe a fairly conservative white silk button up blouse just sheer enough that if you were really trying you could you could just catch a little hint of what wonders may be hiding beneath the thin fabric. Add a plain silver braided chain almost a choker with heart shaped tiny locket I got from my grandmother, one of my favorite things that I saved for only the most momentous of occasions when I could use all the luck I can get. And the charm bracelet I had from childhood just to be whimsical, dangling dozens of little mementos of times and places of things worth immortalizing in a jingly silver-plated miniature form.
I am ready. At least as ready as I will ever be, this is as good as it’s going to get. But is one ever really ready for something like this? You may be fully prepared… But ready? Who knows! There’s only one way to find out.
All I need to do now is grab my leather jacket, lock up the past, and leave my real life and real world behind far behind and actually really start doing it.
That’s the hardest part. And after that? Well whatever happens, just happens!
I check out the final results in the bathroom mirror. It’s a bit friendlier. I don’t even have a full length one in the bedroom where I always dress. And I wonder at exactly what point, on what day did I stopped really caring at all what I looked like? No wonder my reflection was none too fond of me. I didn’t really blame it at all. I wasn’t too thrilled with myself either. Thank god, that girl from the past that these clothes truly belonged to and the one I am now seem to still be approximately the same shape and size. Even though that may be the one and only thing they have in common. And somehow tonight, it’s all a perfect fit!
Chasing all those little kids around all these years seems to have had some advantages. Although at the moment, at least, I certainly can’t for the life of me remember what a single one of them was.
Tonight, by some miracle, the two of us, who I was and who I am now seemed to have somehow managed to come together in the end. Smoothly and seamlessly, without too much effort, making some strange brand new girl I’d never seen before!
One I guess I better get to know and get used to. And fast!
If I was going to take her out for a test drive, especially under these circumstances!
I checked out the finished product.
Hmm…not bad, not bad at all, in fact, I conclude, a rousing success!
“Take that you bitch! VICTORY IS MINE!”
I stuck out my tongue and gave the dressing room mirror the finger.
The look was quite retro, I know but with a few modern stylish touches, definitely vintage, rather than antique. The perfect blend of classy and sassy, both dead cool and yet somehow, hopefully, still totally hot. Let’s just hope and pray that just goes for ME too!
No more excuses, or putting it off.
It was definitely long past time to go.
My showing up (with zero notice, no warning) pounding on his hotel room door tired, wired and just a bit of a mess, a mangy stray puppy dog on the back porch demanding to share his finest steak dinner, with no real clue what I was doing there or why I was doing it, was so bloody typical, and just like us in the old days, it was perfectly priceless and going to be totally worth it!
Or so I hoped.
One never really knows for sure about this sort of thing.
But you won’t ever find out, will you?
Unless you are ready and willing to actually take a chance and make that choice, whenever it is, when you are offered the option. My best advice? Once and awhile, just pick the one you would have to be crazy to choose, whatever it may be. Just fling yourself headlong into the cosmic storm and let it spit you out where it may. And hope the universe will somehow provide and take care of you.
And Do it fearlessly or not at all.
You may disagree. And perhaps you should, and you might be turn out to be right.
Decide for yourself.
After you hear my story.