Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three music memories:

1. Driving home at 2 am, during the end of the summer of 2001. A rainstorm is pounding on the top of my car, one of those tropical Florida summer storms with fists, and I am in love and driving a little too fast on the Courtney Campbell Causeway above a Tampa Bay that is roiling and seething. Poe's "Haunted" album is in my stereo and just as the chorus to "Hey Pretty" kicks in all of the lights on the bridge go dark, and suddenly I could be driving straight into the water or to anywhere at all, but the Morse code of the rain mixes in with the song and I know I'll make it home safe.

2. Fall of 1993, Salt-n-Pepa's "Very Necessary" has come out and "Shoop" has taken over the radio. Closeted in my bedroom my best friend and I are trying to make up our own choreographed dance, but we are 10 and 11 and the lyric "lick him like a lollipop should be licked" makes us laugh so hard we can't stand up.

3. Late at night in the fall of 2005, softly lonely. I have been curled around a book of E E Cummings poems all evening in my glasses and bathrobe and, frustrated, step out onto my balcony. The night smells of fires in fireplaces and damp and leaves that are changing color, and from some other open window nearby drifts a song from The Sea and Cake's 1995 album "The Biz". I can feel the frown in my forehead smoothing itself and something soft and warm thumps down in my heart. As I turn to go to back inside and to bed the music turns up louder, just for a second, and then fades away.

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