Sunday, August 21, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee - (Vol. 7 Music as a Time Machine)

If we were meeting up for drinks this Sunday evening, I'd suggest we go to this place I know that's located a little northeast of the city, along the banks of the Ohio River.  This place has a nice, outdoor area with tables and chairs and offers a good view of the river.  The weather this evening is supposed to be milder and much more pleasant than it has been for weeks.  This would give us a chance to catch up properly over drinks and enjoy the beautiful evening.

After settling in at table by the edge of the deck, we'd turn our chairs so we're both facing the river.  The sun would be setting in the west and the light would dance along the surface of the water.  "Usually, the Ohio River isn't very pretty to look at," I'd say, "but there's something truly magnificent about the way it looks as the sun sets."  I'd take a sip of my mojito, savoring the slight tartness and ask how you've been.  It's been a while since we've chatted, two weeks if I'm remembering correctly.  I'd take another sip of my mojito and listen as you filled me in as to what's been going on in your world lately.

After a while, you'd ask, "What have you been up to lately, Ericka?"  

I'd look over at you and say that I've been acclimating ever so slowly to being a working professional again after having the summer off.  The transition from summer Ericka to Mrs. B, speech pathologist, is always challenging.  "The worst of it," I'd say, "is getting my butt in bed by 10 and then getting my butt out of bed when WHAM! starts singing 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go' at 5:30 in the morning."  You'd laugh, nearly spewing your drink and ask, "What?"  I'd grin and then look over at you.  I'd let out a brief chuckle and say, "Yeah, I changed my alarm over the summer to 'Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go' because I thought I though it was an appropriate wake up song."  Truth is, I'm not sure how I feel about being jolted awake each morning to "Jitterbug.  (boom, boom, boom) Jitterbug. (boom, boom, boom)."  The jury's still out on whether I'll keep it or not.

The fact that the Olympics have been on since I went back to work hasn't helped my attempts at getting back on a sleep schedule at all.   It also doesn't help that I usually get my second wind around 9 and simultaneously find myself in a lively and competitive game of Dice with Buddies.  Come 10 o'clock, I don't want to stop.  "At least tonight is the last night of the Olympics,  so I won't be enticed to stay up until 11:00 o'clock anymore watching events."  I'd sigh and then continue, "As for the Dice with Buddies thing, I think I'm just screwed."  You'd laugh and call me a nut.  I'd smile and say, "Yeah, probably so."

I'd then share with you about what I did Friday night.  I left work at 3 and drove to Ashland, KY.  "C, my best friend of nearly 30 years, and I went to see .38 Special. They performed at the historic Paramount Theatre."  I know what would be going through your head - .38 Special?  That old group from the 1970s and 80s?  "Yes, that's them," I'd say with a smile, anticipating your unspoken question.  I'd then add, "Yeah, I'm kinda surprised they're still performing and still alive  myself."

As C and I ate dinner before the concert, we figured out that, including that evening, we've seen them together at least three times, maybe four, over the span of twenty-some odd years.  "The first time we saw them was in 1995 when they performed at the regatta in Huntington."  It was the first summer in which both of us and most of our friends stayed  in town over the summer instead of going home.  "We had a ball that summer, we really did."

C called me back in the spring and said, "E, come down in August and go see .38 Special with me."  Never turning down an opportunity to see my best friend, I said, "Absolutely."  Even though C lives about 30 miles away from Ashland, we got a hotel room for the night and made it into a much needed mini girl's getaway.

You'd ask how the concert was.  I'd say that .38 Special sounded really good despite their age and that they sounded very much like their recorded songs, which is a performance quality that I find impressive.  I'd take another sip of my mojito, noticing that I had almost drank it all.  I'd silently contemplate having another, for I love a good mojito. 

I'd then say that as C and I made our way out of the theater, a man walked past us and we overheard him say to his companion, "That made me feel like I was 18 again..."  C and I just looked at each other and grinned, silently agreeing with the man's sentiment.  "It was very much like we'd stepped into a time machine and were transported back to 1995," I'd say.  "For two hours, especially when they played 'If I'd Been the One' and 'Back Where You Belong,' I felt as if C and I were no longer 40-somethings.  We weren't working professionals with mortgages and car payments.  C wasn't a mother and neither of us were wives.  Instead, during those two precious hours, we were simply two college kids without a care in the world enjoying some music and each other's company."

Gazing out at the river as the last of the day's light surrendered to the encroaching darkness, I'd say, "I'm always amazed by the power of music and how it can temporarily transport you to a completely different time and place.  It really is an amazing and wondrous gift, isn't it?  We might not be able to be as young as we once were, but our ears can trick us into feeling like we are, if only for a little while."

Thank you for joining me for my latest installment of IWWHC.  

Are there any songs that mentally transport you to a different place or time?  If so, please share.  I love audience participation.  

Linking up with Diana @ Part Time Monster 



  1. I felt as though I was with you by that river! Tor x #mg

  2. oh yes! It was like that at my 40th birthday party. I put together a playlist of my all time fav songs and it transported all of us back, we danced and drank too much and laughed so hard, the nest morning I felt 60 though lol but it was so much fun. Beautifully written as always and thank you for sharing at #mg

  3. Mentally transporting us to a time and place is sorta what Jana and I are offering in our playlist this Thursday :) I can't help myself...Hold On Loosely is my fave .38 Special song.

  4. Music is magical in that way. I only wish it could take me back twenty years. Okay, maybe not. I'm not sure I could bear to do the last twenty years again (assuming I did it the same way).

    I'm also not sure I could bear to be jolted awake at 5:30am to Wham singing Jitterbug... Does it give you heart palpitations???


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