When I first moved to the city, I put a "matches" ad in The Reader. The ad drew eight or nine responses, six of which led to dates. Only one of those lucky ladies could bear the thought of spending another evening with me. She was a Catholic school teacher and a huge supporter of Jack Kemp for president. She also had a car, which was mighty handy considering I had left mine behind at my parents' house (it took me another six months to find a buyer for the darn thing*). So one day we were going somewhere in her car, and a new Tom Petty song came on the radio.
"I like Tom Petty... even though he's, like, a total druggie," she said.
"I don't think he's that much of a druggie," I said.
This conversation lasted just long enough to get to the first chorus of the song:
But let me get to the point, let's roll another jointCrap, I guess I lost that argument. "You Don't Know How It Feels" had just been released as the first single from Petty's upcoming Wildflowers album, and obviously I hadn't heard it before. Oh well, I still think "total druggie" is a bit harsh for an occasional pot smoker like Petty. I mean, Howie Epstein (the Heartbreakers' bass player) was a "total druggie" (heroin use eventually led to his death).
And turn the radio loud, I'm too alone to be proud
You don't know how it feels
You don't know how it feels to be me
I'll share a better story about that relationship later in "Ex Week." Stay tuned...
* My suburban family was not happy about me selling my car. One family member expressed concern that I'd never get a date without a car. Fortunately for me, it was the 1990s, not the 1950s. None of the women I dated ever complained about me not having a car. They always had other reasons to never want to see me again.