Jackson Browne is my Dad
Cross-legged, head-phones on in front of the speaker, I listen to The Pretender over and over again. Having proven myself worthy of using the turntable as my biological father was a disc-jockey and I knew how to handle a record needle on vinyl. I would listen to one song over and over singing along surely off-key with ears filled with sound. Reading the lyric sheet on the liner notes on the sleeve, pointing my finger along the line, closing my eyes and wondering when Jackson Browne was going to marry my Mom.
The jack-wagon she was with hated me, told me so and was a cheap imitation of the man I thought truly worthy of my beautiful Mother. Sure he played guitar, sang and had long shiny straight hair but he was a dick that hated me and I was certain that Jackson Browne would love me AND my mother equally. We would go on tour with him when we weren’t living in California which would be so close to my biological Dad that I wouldn’t have to just see him during the summer but he could come to some school plays an concerts, meet my teachers and go to concerts because my Mom would be so happy she would have to be friends with my biological Dad-give him free concert tickets and stuff. I would go to a private school but one that was arts focused and Dad Jackson or DJ as he would cleverly volunteer to lend a hand during talent night doing the sound board but refusing to take the stage as he might upstage some of the kids because that is just how cool he is. His swimming pool wouldn’t have a diving board but he would install one once we moved in because he found out I wanted to be a professional swimmer.
Touring would interfere with my school schedule so my new Dad-DJ-would hire this awesome French Nanny who would teach me French and stay with me while my Mom and DJ went around the world. They would send me awesome presents so I wouldn’t be mad they weren’t around sometimes. They would buy me a persian cat and his name would be Fred-just like my parakeet when I was a baby even though it was a girl.
My room would be red velvet and be full of antiques and bunk beds with curtains around the sides. I would have my own record player with giant speakers but would be told to use my headphones because DJ is rehearsing. We would go to Hawaii on vacation and I would be bored and get sunburned snorkeling. DJ and Mom would be so in love that they would forget I was there but then they bought me a parrot so I wasn’t sad anymore. When we would get home they would fight about the bird and we would give it to my biological Dad because he loves birds. DJ and my Dad would totally get along all the time.
At a concert in LA he would dedicate a song to me and I would be in the wings waving at him, holding my Mom’s hand and she would be smiling, happy and loving me and Jackson Browne.