Poolside Tunes

There’s a song that I can’t hear without getting emotional.  We’re talking about going to a place where my mind is just wrapped up in something else and nothing can enter.  At some time in the past I post something about Dream Theater’s “Along for the Ride”, it captured everything about being a parent.  The lyrics just put me right back there, but since I don’t really have the intestinal fortitude to write about that today, let’s move on to something a little more fun.

Now give it a minute, Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven”.  Sure it goes into the above paragraph, but in this case it reminds me of this girl I knew in college.  I actually known her for a number of years, but every time I saw her that song came on the radio.  It didn’t matter where we were, out to eat somewhere or even sitting around having just a simple conversation about the price of tea in China, that track brings me back to everything about her.

Our friendship started in high school when I was the passenger in a car that wrapped itself around a tree.  Multiple broken veins in my left leg meant no basketball that year and I would be on crutches for a week or two.  No real big deal in either situation.  But she didn’t wish to take the mandatory swimming class our high school forced on us.  Fortunately I had been certified as a lifeguard by the the school, so I was exempt; she was not.  I don’t remember her reasons, most likely something to do with her hair!  [she had a pool in her backyard so it wasn’t a fear thing]

She was the first person I truly talked to after Patre had died.  She asked a question and I just for some reason felt like answering it.  Almost 9 months had passed by that point, so people weren’t quite as afraid to say something.  So for 45 minutes, twice a week, we would sit there in the bleachers and ramble on.  This was the only class we shared together, different tracks of study, different teachers even within the same building.  It was nice, and for many reasons it helped bring me back into the real world.

So years later when she had problems of her own with her family, she asked for help.  I’d drive to her college to have dinner, spent some parts of weekends helping clean out her stuff from her parent’s place; just tried to repay in any form what she had done for me years before.  Eric Clapton was always on the radio, that song was found on just about every station I was willing to listen to.  Heavy rotation they call it!

I hadn’t had a friend like that growing up, at least until that point.  Sure I hung out with the guys, but you just don’t talk about certain things.  Macho, stupidity taking over when maybe any of us could have talked about something truly bothering us.  But teenage guys are teenage guys, we are a stereotype.

When I hear that song come on the radio, I just sort of freeze for a second and look around.  Even in my own house, where I know she has never set foot, I sometimes wonder if the doorbell will ring.  A bit of me could use that friendship now with everything going on.  I realize years have passed, but for a little while I think I would like to be transported back to just sitting on the bleachers babbling about our classmates or just life in general.

It’s not that things were simpler or even better, but I appreciate now those simple times.  Age has a way of doing that.  Maybe seeing knowing the limits of time makes me want to go back and relive those nice memories.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”

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