Music and Memories


Humor me–listen to the song first.
I’ve spent the last couple of hours indulging in a rare occupation for me–listening to music.  I don’t own an iPod (well, I have an iPhone now but I don’t use it for that).  I usually don’t turn on the car radio.  My CDs, cassettes, and records are all gone.  If I want music, I usually sing.  And not surprisingly I suppose, what I really like to hear is SILENCE.
But I was feeling tired of my usual computer occupations, and it was too cold to go out, and our resident babysitters have their own social lives nowadays so going out on a date was out of the question anyway, so I decided to play with Spotify, which I was totally thrilled with when I first got it but forgot all about after a day or two because I just never think of listening to music.  I discovered Pandora before anyone else I knew and I don’t ever listen to it either.  But I digress.
I created a playlist with songs from my college days.  Now, I have a kick ass memory, at least when it comes to things that happened 20 years or more ago.  My high school friends know to call me if there is anything they want to know about the good old days.  Seriously, I can literally recall my entire high school class schedule, period by period, teacher by teacher, classroom by classroom.  So I don’t NEED music to remember.
But there’s nothing like a special song for taking you back to a particular moment in time.  I hear “St. Elmo’s Fire” and I’m a lonely homesick Freshman listening obsessively to the soundtrack of the last movie my friends and I saw together right before I left for Georgetown.  “How Will I Know?” comes on and I’m singing with my roommate and we are wondering how, with our complete lack of boyfriend experience, we WILL know?  Then it’s “Get into the Groove” and we’re dancing in our friend Tom’s room after saying the prayer to St. Jude, our pre-exam ritual certain to get us all passing grades.    The Georgia Satellites break out with “Keep Your Hands to Yourself” and I’m deep in the throes of first (and only) love, struggling to live up to previously untested ideals.  Love and anger, fear and joy, laughter and tears, hellos and good-byes–I feel them all again when I hear the songs.
I haven’t forgotten what HAPPENED when I was 18, 19, 20 . . . but sometimes I forget how it FELT.  But, as Trisha sings, the song remembers.

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