14 July 2008

Today I'm reminded

Ever hear a song and you’re instantly transported to the time and place when you first knew the song so well? In addition to smell being a powerful memory trigger for me, music can dredge up images and feelings that I haven’t thought about in years. Being the 70s, 80s and 90s retro music whore that I am, you would think that I never get anything done for all the trips down memory lane that I must be subjecting myself to every time I turn on my iPod. Such is not the case, as I have discovered that the memories usually come across with great force only once in a while.

Today is one of those days. As I processed a bunch of manuscripts at work, I plugged into the iPod to help the time pass a little quicker. I listened to one album, then another. As I flipped through the menu to find a third one to listen to, I landed on Sting’s Sacred Love, one of my stand-bys. The first song started, and suddenly it’s a dark evening in early December 2003 and I’m driving on I-435, heading towards Gladstone, Missouri. I am on my way to a boy’s apartment for our second date. I met him through an online dating website. Our first date had gone really well, and for our second date, he was cooking me dinner at his place. Unfortunately, his place was about an hour drive from where I live. No problem – have iPod, will travel. I had just downloaded Sting’s new album and was actually kind of glad for the uninterrupted time to listen to it.

The weather was horrible that night. An ice storm had passed through 24 hours before, and the roads had just been cleared. Against my better judgement (and my sister's worried pleading not to go), but in favor of my lonliness and desperation for some male attention, I ventured out onto the slick highway. The roads were wet and quickly freezing. I remember so well the glint of the lights of Kansas City off the shiny black asphalt as I drove way too fast in an attempt to get to my destination before the roads completely froze over (or before the boy changed his mind – I can fool myself into thinking that’s not exactly what I was afraid of, even though the notion is absurd to me now. Low self-esteem, anyone?).

I made it back home that night at 4:30am and was greeted by a pile of snow at the end of my driveway, left by the snow plows that had traveled down my street while I was away. Instead of getting out of the car and shoveling a path for my car, I decided to gun it and try to make it over the pile. My poor little Jetta got stuck. So there I was, 4:30 in the morning, giddy from another great date and exhausted past any rational thought, digging out my car.

Good times. That was the last date I had with that boy. I can barely remember his name now, even though it wasn't all that long ago. But hearing those songs occasionally brings me right back.


Blogger Dame Wendy said...

Ooo I loved this! And I'm the same way with music. :) I'm constantly flashing back in time with each track.

9:24 PM  
Blogger TechGirl said...

Yep! I'm the same way. :)

9:41 PM  
Blogger Jo said...

Yikes - 4:30am (Now was that because that date went well or it took you that long to drive home!?!) I'm like this with music, too. A while ago I heard The Cult's "She Sells Sanctuary" and I was transported back to high school and a boy named Jared.

6:08 AM  
Blogger kemtee said...

What is it with dates and ice storms? With me it was picking up a date to go see The Flying Dutchman, only to leave the opera and skid across an icy parking lot in high heels. (Good thing I was driving. Southern boys and ice don't mix.)

But yeah… songs… with me it's "Holding Back the Years" by Simply Red. Gets me back to a certain place and time every stinking time I hear it.

11:24 AM  

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