You were first delivered unto me as I sat blinking in wonder before a new mind-blowing entity called MTV. Paradise by the Dashboard Lights was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Your eyes drilled straight through me as those long sweaty strands of hair whipped around your head, a living weapon. You were the antithesis of a teen dreamboat—a fat guy in a ruffled shirt, yet I swooned at something I was too young and naïve to recognize: your unabashed eroticism.
And that chick! Karla DeVito stood like a virgin flame in her white cat suit. Who cared if she was lip synching Ellen Foley's singing? With lips rouged and blue eye shadow gleaming, she was a live-action Betty Boop. But instead of coy giggles and batting eyelashes, DeVito had all the power. It was concentrated at the tip of the inverted V formed by her not-so-subtly parted legs.
When you two started making out, it was miles away from the antiseptic kissing manufactured by Hollywood. Why, you were practically dry zocking on the stage! My breath shortened as epiphany bloomed with sweet orgiastic glee: This was the kind of sex they didn't want me to know about. It had a taste and smell. This sex was alive. It was raw and honest and real.
You owned me, Meat.
The next thirty years unwound as fast as the turning cogs in my portable cassette player. I traded in my shoulder pads and fishnets for the punk look. Then life dissolved from college to a corporate career. The mortgage and husband and baby soon followed.
But you never changed, always with the motorcycles and ruffled shirts and the sublime promise that the rock & roll of my youth was really opera. Bat out of Hell II, Bat out of Hell III. I gave you one pass after another. When you espoused, I'd Do Anything for Love (But I won't Do That), I was baffled. Huh? I wondered, not do what? What did it mean? You'd invite me to your bed and then promise to never break wind therein?
Aw baby, I didn't care. I'd do anything for love too, so I just swallowed it whole. After all, you were Meat Loaf and when you set me atop that silver black phantom bike all those years ago, it earned you hella good will.
Then you told me that Objects in the Rearview Mirror May AppearCloser than They Are.
Some things just have to be gotten through, so it was with your unfortunate mumbling of that incredibly awkward title phrase. But like we vowed before those dashboard lights so long ago, I would love you forever, Meat. I was ready to suffer anything. Well, almost anything.
October 25, 2012, Defiance, Ohio.
"Meat Loaf endorses Romney," proclaimed the headlines. You talked about the Cold War and it felt like a cold shower despite my advanced fortysomething age. And when you said, "I want you to know, at 65, that Paul Ryan has not pushed me off the cliff in a wheelchair," you couldn't have been more wrong. You were finally speeding into a real abyss and this bat wouldn't be coming out of Hell ever again. And then there was this:
Frankly Meat (or should I call you Marvin?), Romney looked as though he'd just been presented with a plate of eyeballs floating in a mold of lime jello.
Now it's November 56th and Romney's still losing the election (just ask his eldest son). I hate to break this to you, Marv, but no one cares about your opinion on the matter. Paradise is lost, baby. Your sweat has dried into a crust of salt. All those ruffled shirts have long since gone yellow. In ten years or so when Mitt Romney is reduced to a Trivial Pursuit answer card, I'm afraid you'll be just another old fat white guy alone between your waxy sheets wondering why you ever vowed, but I won't do that or two out of three ain't bad.
Whatever the case, Marv, you took the words right out of my mouth.
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