The Who’s Crush on my Mother
by Regis Boff
Keith Moon insisted the two of them had a connection.
It was awkward. The woman was my mother.
She was beautiful by any standard.
The drummer started to fantasize about her soon after I showed him a photo snapped of her in the fifties. She wore a shapeless, tent of a chiffon dress, popularized then. It was my second North American tour with the Who, and she was already dead.
Ridiculously, this did not counterbalance my discomfort. I am not anybody’s definition of a prude, but this was my mother he wanted.
He was smitten with her in that shy British way. He would talk to the photo like he did to prostitutes. As if he might be successful, provided, he played his cards just right.
He would bring mother up to me out of nowhere, regularly wanting to see the picture.
The trajectory of my mother’s life and death were much the same as his, inevitable and sad. Neither of them was nailed down. Of course, she did not wreck hotel rooms, but our neighbors did slam the front doors when they saw her coming in the night.
I see them now as hapless geese plowing deliberately into the propellers of an airplane taking off to God’s airport. Neither the plane nor their shared psychosis was willing to alter course. They had no chance.
Their now dead broken feathers scattered everywhere around me. Moon’s drifted over everyone.
She died conveniently between tours.
Once in a while, he would ask whether if I could find a dress like hers.
Of course, in his size.