Melody (AKA "Mel" back in the day) is an old friend. She sent me
this nice little ditty:
It's Saturday, around 8:30pm on a warm, breezy summer evening. I'm 36
years old. I just left work and am walking to my car. I hear the sound of
wheels on pavement, and the unmistakable sound of wood sliding on a curb,
echoing out of the parking garage across the street. As soon as I hear
these familiar sounds, I am 17 again. I imagine the boys inside of that
garage with ridiculously baggy pants and flannel shirts. The sound track
playing in my mind: Operation Ivy, NOFX, Descendents. I can taste the
Mountain Dew and as I take a deep breath, I can feel the cigarette smoke
flowing in my lungs (a habit I gave up more than 14 years ago.) I go all
the way back to my days as a cashier at a weird little burger joint called
Farknarkles, where on any given day I could hear the sounds of wheels
coming down the hill towards me, prompting me to get a few "pink waters"
ready because my boys were thirsty!
As I approach my duel-sliding-door, silver mom van, I imagine myself opening
the door to a band-aid colored, 1978 Pinto station wagon. A bitter-sweetness
fills me as I remember days since passed. I feel content with the memories
made, and the friendships discovered. On my drive home, I think about
specific people and specific memories. I think about driving my friends
all over town so they could film their skate sessions; clocking them with the clunky
speedometer while they bombed hills; taking the injured to the hospital for
stitches, casts and bandages; and late summer nights, jacked up on coffee,
watching my friends skate a rooftop parking lot. Although I have no desire
to relive my teenage angst (or drive that Pinto), I feel a happiness that
I was a part of something that can cause me to completely step back in
time, even if only for a moment.
The next morning, as I pass that same parking garage on my way back to
work, I hear wheels again. I turn to look, just a middle-aged woman in a
navy suit wearing running shoes, holding her high heels and pulling a
rolling suitcase. Not the wheels I was hoping for.
Reverie officially over and I am 36 once again.