Tom Waits, the mangy old recluse with a voice hardened by molasses and rusty nails, is gracing Middle Tennessee State University's Murphy Center with his presence.
And as any good Waits-o-phile knows, the man rarely makes public appearances. He almost makes J.D. Salinger look like Kiki Preston.
But there's Tom Waits in the flesh. He looks very much like the '70s era Blue Valentine cover, brimming with a raw sexuality and dangerous masculinity. I just want him to pin me against his baby blue corvette a la his Valentine harem, and whisper filthy nothings in my ear.
Instead, Mr. Waits flirts with my roommate, Kevin, licking his lips like a dirty old man while singing about "Chocolate Jesus."
Dejected, I leave Murphy Center in search of cheap booze and nicotine. But the campus doesn't look anything like MTSU as I remembered it.
For starters, there's an Applebee's* right in the middle of campus. I try to find my back to Mr. Waits. (When I left he was playing 'Big in Japan,' wonderfully ironic in its own way since the concert was so sparsely attended.)
But I keep having copious amounts of trouble finding my way back. The bread crumbs didn't work.
I end up in a landfill, tramping through muck as neatly scrubbed Chinese workers shovel away blocks of human feces.
I begin to cry, crumpling up in a pile of shit and smearing it across my forehead for full dramatic effect.
"I need to see Tom Waits," I bemoan, my face literally covered in shit.
The neatly scrubbed Chinese worker laughs her cruel little laugh. Even though she shovels shit for a living, her white suit looks almost heavenly.
*Why do I always dream about Applebee's?