Friday, April 02, 2010

Stuff: "That was a safe assumption, of course, until . . ."

In Details magazine, Jeff Gordinier profiles Matthew Roberts, a rock musician and strip-joint DJ whose search for his biological parents took a turn for the weird that instantly quailfied him for a post on ANTSS.

The adopted son of a "straight-laced" Illinois couple, Matthews started the search for his biological parents in 1999. From the article:

In 1999 he called an adoption-search organization in the Midwest, coughed up a few hundred dollars, and was given her name. She was living in a cabin in Wisconsin without a phone or a car, he says. "The adoption lady kind of warned me, 'Your mother's a little bit off.' Then I got a letter from my mother, and she was talking about her rhubarb and her cats, and I thought, well, she's just kind of a hippie. But at a certain point it became obvious that there was something wrong with her. Mentally." The woman, a Wisconsin native whom he calls Terry, said that his first and middle names at birth had been Lawrence Alexander. According to Roberts, she sent him food in the mail after warning him, in a weirdly winking way, that her own mother had suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental disorder that can lead parents to poison their children. "One time she sent me a jar of, like, mystery juice," Roberts says. "It had things floating in it. Then she asked me, 'Did you drink the juice?' And I said, 'No.' And she said, 'You're smart!' "

Roberts was beginning to get a sense of where those night terrors might have come from. Only gradually, he says, did his mother let the narrative wrinkles slip out: that he had been conceived during a hippie orgy in San Francisco in 1967, that his mother's participation in the orgy may not have been consensual, that there were four men present, that everyone at the orgy was dropping LSD, that his mother had apparently continued to ingest LSD in the months that followed. It was all eerily similar to Rosemary's Baby: Midway through Roman Polanski's 1968 film about the prenatal care and feeding of Satan's spawn, Ruth Gordon coaxes a pregnant Mia Farrow into gulping down a frothy, fetid glass of herbal goop. In the movie, Roberts says, "they were doing it to create an Antichrist. Well, in this case it just happened." That was a safe assumption, of course, until the day in 1999 that Matthew Roberts finally sent his biological mother a photo of himself, at about 30 years old, with his piercing eyes and his tangled nest of black hair, and she told him she realized which of the four men at the orgy had to be his father . . .

Go ahead. Look at the pic again and take a guess.

Inmate No. B-33920 at the California State Prison in Corcoran, otherwise known as Charles Manson, the most demonic figure in the annals of American murder.

Seriously, Matt. Ask for that couple hundred bucks back.


zoe said...

holy cow. what do you even say?

jm_kaye said...

That was amazing.

Sasquatchan said...

for every kid that ever wished they were adopted.. There's this..

cattleworks said...

Okay, that's some story... but to be honest? I thought he looked like Hank Azaria.

CRwM said...


Come to think of it, I've never seen Hank Azaria and Charles Manson together in the same room.

Shon Richards said...

My wife read this and said ,"Okay, I see why you don't want to find your biological father."

Thanks CRWM!