“American Girl” by Tom Petty
The last tape I ever bought was Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever. I had a clunker for a car and I figured an actual cassette collection might give me a cooler retro edge. The tape caught my eye because it had a rainbow cover and because every teenage boy I knew was picking up a guitar and serenading us girls with “Free Falling.”
Tom Petty was eventually ruined for me by a breakup or two and the simple fact that “I’m different now,” the exception being “American Girl.” When I listen to it I can still remember the long and winding road lined with mossy oaks that led to my parents’ house. Windows down to counter the sticky summer heat, I would belt Tom Petty as loud as I could, feeling adventurous on the curves before walking into my house and turning off my personality…my final moment of freedom.
Emily Turner works in a museum by day and blogs by night at Les Foufounes Folles. She also contributes material to the Feministing blogging community, and has been published at The Feminist Wire. In her spare time she volunteers at a bookstore and works with a non-profit that runs a writing mentorship program for high school girls in NYC.
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