As with most preteens, my life forty years ago (okay, 40+ years ago) was consumed by friends, music and fashion. My best friend, Marcia lived two blocks away and, because my mom watched her and her siblings before and after school, we were together almost constantly. We agreed on everything: who was the cutest boy in school, what was the proper length for a mini-skirt, and which band was, hands down, the best – The Monkees! And who was our favorite Monkee? Davy Jones. Every month we’d make the trek down to our corner grocery store to buy the newest edition of Tiger Beat or 16 magazine. We preferred 16, but if Tiger Beat had better Davy Jones coverage, we’d stray from our favorite. We both covered our bedroom walls with Davy Jones posters. We knew the words to every song he sang and we even had choreography for a couple of them. My bedroom was most of the top floor of our house and I had a fairly large, very sturdy, round coffee table that we used as our stage to lip-sync the songs and go-go dance along. At one point, we realized that the tallest boy in our class was 5’4” – the exact height of Davy Jones. This kid was also kind of the class nerd, but we would sidle up beside him to get an idea of what it would be like to stand next to Davy. When word was released that Davy had been secretly married for two years and had a baby daughter, we were devastated and mourned for days. We shut the curtains in my room, turned on the record player to a Monkees album and alternately cried through our grief and talked about our loss of any chance to snare Davy as our own.
Yesterday, Davy Jones died. He was only 66 years old. When I saw the headline on my computer, a piece of my heart just chipped off along with a feeling of loss for the preteen childhood dreams that were so unrealistic, but so real in my mind. My heart aged a little yesterday.