BAM!

March 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

BAM!  Taking in a Tom Jones show in an intimate lounge setting was like getting a shot of adrenaline.  One minute I was simply existing, and the next I was acutely aware of the blood rushing through my veins, my heart pounding to the beat of the music, my ears keenly attuned to the sound of The Voice emoting the gamut of love, hate, sexuality, and even death in song.

“This is Tom Jones” Fan Club – Chicago 1971

BAM!  The memory of Vegas lived on.  By the time we were home, mother and I relived it again and again, as if it was our own personal Live in Las Vegas album.  Remember when he bound out on the stage?  Remember when he took his jacket off?  Remember when he drank champagne?  Remember when he bantered with the audience?  Remember when he danced?

BAM!  We loved every second of the singing, but we were suddenly focused on the man, because that was the first time we had ever seen the man.  Tom Jones was no longer a 36” television screen or a photograph on an album.  He was a real man.

BAM!  A real man.  The moment I laid eyes on Tom Jones in Las Vegas, I knew.  I knew I had to meet him.  I didn’t know how or when.  I just knew that somehow I would.  It was now my purpose in life.  And this is where my road got a little twisted.

This is something I never shared with anyone at the time, because to make it known would have been too embarrassing.  I knew it was childish and immature, and I would have been humiliated if others knew my true The Real Manmotive.  But, in my teenage fantasies, I believed that if I could just get Tom Jones to fall in love with me, everything would be all rightI would be all right.  If Tom Jones fell in love with me… it would mean I would have value, I could feel good about myself, I would feel loved, and I would live happily ever after.  Right?

There was just one catch.  Well, to be honest, there were a few catches.  Tom Jones was married.  I was an underage, “jail bait” teenage girl who couldn’t even walk to the mailbox without having conniptions.  I still struggled with hypersensitivity, social anxiety, awkwardness, and shyness.  I had trouble carrying on a conversation with my old friends, had no new friends, and in fact, my only friend was pretty much my mom.

Still, in my heart of hearts, I believed that if I could get Tom Jones to fall in love with me, everything would be all right. BAM!  Somewhere within, there was an itty-bitty strength that told me an unknown, unremarkable teenage girl could meet a famous, remarkable superstar — the man of her dreams and teenage fantasies.  And so, listening to the singer saved me… morning, noon, and night.

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