There I was, standing in front of the house I grew up in, sucking in the ghosts from 20 years past. Recollections of blasting Duran Duran from my parent’s stereo, playing air guitar to Eric Clapton albums and lip-syncing to David Bowie records. Those were the days.

Wanting my arrival to be a surprise, I didn’t call ahead. However, it was Sunday morning, which meant the family was at church. Needless to say, I didn’t have my old house key. No matter. A quick peek under the “Welcome” mat for the extra key was successful, and moments later I was standing in the living room of my childhood.

Oh, the memories! Like that night I went to my first rock concert – Alice Cooper – and my dad slipped an extra $20 in my hand for the concessions. Or that time my mom sprung for the service charges for Jackson Browne and Fleetwood Mac. Then there was that time when my dad surprised me with a Bob Dylan-to-English dictionary, so that I’d be able to understand all the nuances in the Bard from Minnesota’s lyrics. Absolutely priceless.

Speaking of surprises, I wanted my arrival to be a complete surprise. So, when I heard the car pull up in the driveway, and a key turning in the backdoor lock, I quickly hid in the hall closet, and waited until the entire family walked into the house. There I stood, in the closeted darkness, listening to the family talking about their concert plans for the upcoming fall season. Plans of seeing Ill Nino, and Lord Of The Dance. They were talking about their tickets for Galactic when I made my move. I burst from that closet like Cher jumping into the spotlight. “Ta da!”

And, man, were they surprised! Their faces grew wide in astonishment. Their jaws dropped to the floor, and their eyes bugged-out as if the ghost of Keith Moon stood before them. Oh, if only I had thought to bring a camera to capture that special moment, for even I couldn’t believe the looks on their faces when they realized that I was back.

Especially since my parents sold the house and moved to Florida two years after I was sent to prison, and this family had never, ever seen me before in their lives.

No problem, though. I was expecting it. I knew that moment could be awkward for all involved. I knew it could get a little tense.

After all, that’s why I brought my chainsaw.