One of the artifacts I came across was a tape Shannon made in 1989. Listening to it and learning about what she was doing in and around the making of that tape reminded me of what I was doing about that time.
I wrote a post about my 1989 memory here just last week.
Another artifact I came across was an album of pictures of Shannon from early college years which created quite a conundrum for me, a veritable crisis of conscience. You see the album has several pictures of a late-teen Shannon in rather skimpy bathing attire. Damn, she looked good! I am sure glad I got to have sex with 24 year old Shannon but oh how nice it would have been to have 4 years of college sex with Shannon! But then I was immediately disgusted with myself. How could I, my eldest daughter is only a few years younger than this image; I'm a dirty old man! The shame. But then my alternative ego said to me, hey Super Ego, this is your wife it's not creepy to mentally undress her. Oh the paradox and the stupid *hit that plagues my mind! :)
But anyway, let's go to Shannon's 1989 memory and hear from her, or at least how I imagine she would articulate her memory.
OH my goodness have the last few months been a struggle. After 10 years living on top of each other in this house Ryan finally got up off his ass and got the basement finished. With our new salaries we had talked about moving or building. We looked at some sites in the fall but Ryan moved at a glacial pace and then only to find that while we could get a bridge loan we would have to come up with about $50,000 cash to close on a new house. Tragic because we found the perfect house on "short sale" that would have been everything we wanted. As is so often the case the candy was dangled just in front of me and then pulled away just as I grasped. Once again I was told, can't do it; not enough money. I guess in my age I've started to look a little closer at reality though. Even after the massive loan we would have the risk of renting our current house. Ryan is way to conservative to do anything like that. Frankly, I didn't want to give up vacations so we decided to upgrade our current house. Ryan spoke with a contractor he knows and got a really good price to convert that junk yard that was our basement to a recreation room, another bathroom, and a bedroom for our eldest. Ryan secured a loan from another guy he knows at the bank. I guess I have to hand it to him, he does know people in this poor little provincial town.
We started over the winter and two months later it was finished. We immediately started enjoying the family space. It is so cute, a little kitchenette, a ping-pong table, a wide screen TV on the wall and best of all the girls have a place to go with friends and I can get peace and quiet upstairs. And Ryan can watch his Nationals games without interruption.
One afternoon Ryan came home and pulled me outside quickly and said he wanted to show me something up the street. I was sure he was talking about some big trash pile in one of our trashy neighbor's yard. He turned on the engine, music was blaring. I immediately reached to turn off the radio but Ryan stopped me. Just then I recognized a voice from my past that was only vaguely familiar. It was me, at least I thought it was me; I had to confirm. My voice was different, where did that southern accent come from. Now I remember how hard I worked to get rid of it.
Then I had to laugh as I remembered the night that tape was recorded.
|The ACC Tavern circa, 1989|
And You Love the Game, Shannon circa 1989
|RIP Cindi Mancini|
At first I thought he was trying to pick me up. It was a little creepy because he was a little older. It wasn't that older guys ever bothered me, I dated a college guy when I was a sophomore in high school. Maybe it wasn't creepy because of his age (I'm sure he was just mid-20's). Perhaps it was more related to the fact that I was just not in the least bit attracted to him. I am remembering him now as looking like a younger Stanley Tucci.
I have to give him this, he was persistent. He asked me about my major, who was my favorite band, where I was from, yada, yada. I wasn't really giving him much of an opening but he was trying to appear mature and interested in my mind as his ploy. He finally asked if I would come on stage and be the guest DJ. That was the show I guess every Thursday night on that local station.
For the next hour I was the guest DJ for the station spinning Peter Gabriel, the Cult, Echo and the Bunnymen, Simple Minds, Blue Murder, and even Alice Cooper of all things. It was fun and listening back now I have to say I sounded pretty good over the radio. I think I could have been a DJ or better yet a VJ on MTV (when they still played music).
I guess it was naive of me to assume that Mr. DJ had just asked me on stage because he thought I would be talented. As the show stopped he offered to buy me a drink. Out of courtesy I said yes. For the next hour he proceeded to tell me all of the inner-workings of the DJ business of which I was not at all interested. But for some reason politeness and I guess the abandonment of my friends held me captive on this island of an older, starting to go bald man.
Those conversations always end up with "so can I get your number?" With guys, I learned at a young age there always is a proposition. I hesitated and then he made an interesting offer. No he didn't ask me to go back to his apartment but he did say he had Aerosmith tickets and "did I want to go." I was still hesitant but something about going to the concert (in supposedly VIP seats) with a man that might buy me dinner first held sway over me and I said yes. Oh yeah, I reluctantly gave him my number as well.
Now I'd know he was just some dirty old man who got some freebie, throw-away tickets from a band's manager for doing some minor promotional work ahead of a local show by playing them at the top of every hour or right after a beer commercial. But that was long before age (and Ryan) made me pessimistic about guys.
Mr. DJ waited a polite two days to call. Again, he feigned enlightened maturity and asked me questions about what projects I was working on, how my semester was going. When I mentioned art he asked if I liked Cubist or Classical, he probably read that question on the back of a fortune cookie. He finally got around to asking me if I wanted to go for a drive that Sunday afternoon. I had nothing better to do so I agreed, he said he had a rebuilt '69 convertible Mustang after all.
The drive was fun. He talked a lot about what I don't know. Why can't guys learn to be quiet, I just wanted a little peace. After all, my head was still a little groggy from the DeKE party the night before. I did enjoy the air on that spring afternoon and he did have good music on cassette. If he would only have stayed quiet and let me listen to the Sisters of Mercy without interruption he would have improved him image immensely with me.
We stopped for coffee along the way and we got back to my Dorm just before dark. Thankfully he didn't try to kiss me. The concert was the following Friday, we made plans to go out to a restaurant before.
|I wish he was Patrick|
I suppose if I was smart I would not have showered for three days ahead of the date with the DJ. I wouldn't have looked any worse than the majority of the crowd and perhaps it would have incentivized him to leave me alone. But the 19 year old me wanted to look good in public at all times so I wore a tight little dress and made myself up to look my best.
Mr. DJ drove up in his Mustang, I was already in the lobby. I think I remember seeing him mouth "dang" as he walked up. Class, isn't it! Well at least I knew what he wanted, now I just needed to be ready for a defensive posture when needed.
Dinner was OK. The I know this great place downtown turned into Chili's but it was better than the Dining Hall food I suppose. The show was fun and we did have good seats just off to the right of the stage. I guess I had hoped he would magically produce back stage passes but no such luck.
It was a nightmare getting out of the parking lot, well after midnight so when he suggested we go for a drink, I declined. He kept on asking if I had fun and I repeatedly told him yes. The continued fake worry or worse yet lack of confidence was definitely off-putting.
We finally got back to campus. He pulled up (strategically I'm sure) to a secluded spot adjacent to my Dorm. He swung toward me, moving his arm around me, smiling, and saying "so ya had a good time (once again), Steve Tyler still has it doesn't he." I think I mumbled "yes." He then moved forward and forced a kiss to my mouth. I started to pull back but his hand was behind my neck. He didn't really force himself on me and I guess he was trying to be nice and polite. I wouldn't say I kissed him back as much as I simply allowed him to kiss me. In my mind I said, I'll let him kiss me for the length of "Major Tom." It was playing on the radio and I liked that song so that is what I concentrated on. I guess that is sometimes how we rationalize the things we do for guys. The song ended and I muttered some excuse to get out of the car. He did the gentlemanly thing and walked me to the door. It cost me one more kiss and then I was inside.
In hindsight it wasn't so bad. He did try to be a nice guy even if it did come off as a bit smarmy. I guess looking back now it is a bit smarmy for a guy in his late 20's to be hitting on a college freshman. But then again I'm jaded and curmudgeonly now. I wouldn't tell Ryan that but I am.
He called several times after that night but I just didn't return the calls. Sometimes it's best just to move on. Anyway, one of the basketball players started talking to me that next Thursday night at the Tavern. He wasn't that cute either but he started for the **** and played for Coach *, so guess he had at least as much cache as a DJ with free Aerosmith tickets.
Oh well, time to clean the new fish tank downstairs. All this new space and nobody but me is going to get up off their ass and clean it!
At least Ryan and the girls enjoy playing ping pong.
Back to Ryan:
I'm still working through the cathartic analysis over the acceptability of mentally undressing as a 40-something man the 20 year old image of one's wife.
Sorry, that is just the type of paradoxical conundrum that spins around in Ryan's poor mind.