Thursday, December 5, 2013

How the Eavesdropping Failed but instead A Brief Soundtrack of My Past

I really did go out.
First, the moon. A photographic failure. I can't make you gasp the way I did when I saw it--a golden crescent cradling the full shadow of its past and future selves. So picture it. Then picture this:

Couple 1: They're wearing black leather jackets--not matching. She has on tight white jeans and black high-heeled boots. They're in their 30s or 40s. He has an English accent. They're drinking cosmos. The glasses glowing like rubies. His arm rests on the back of her barstool all through three rounds of drinks. Occasionally, his hand hovers closer to her back, but he doesn't touch her.

Couple 2:  Another set of 40-somethings. She's wearing a dress and hose. He has on black jeans and a black tee-shirt--and has a neatly trimmed  goatee. They're stylish, but there's something a bit weary about them. He scrutinizes the check a moment too long. She sighs and raises her eyebrows. Over the music, I hear only two words of their conversation. Pregnant and love. I'd bet a million bucks they were talking about someone else.

Couple 3: They're in their 80s, sitting side by side in a booth. Maybe so they can hear one another. But maybe because they like it. He savors his red wine. She lingers over the menu. They lean toward each other. When they leave, he aims toward the floor to ceiling windows as if there's a door there; she takes his arm and steers.

The Soundtrack of My Past (performed by a lone musician): 

I'll Get You in the End by The Beatles
I'm in my room with the liner notes to The Beatles Second Album, listening over and over again while reading the words and looking at the pictures on the album cover. I will memorize all the lyrics, who wrote what, who's singing the lead vocals on each song.

She's Not There by The Zombies
I'm probably not supposed to be there either. "There" is the new frowned upon teen club called The Web. It's a regular after school stop on my walk home. No drugs. No alcohol. Pizza. Soda. A juke box. And it's run by a cool 20-something guy. Was his nick name Spider? Parents didn't approve.

Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Was it our song? Had we formalized it in some way or was it just in my head, the significance so dizzying because of the way he looked into my eyes as we danced to it? We are caught up in the ecstasy of a summer dance at the park pavillion. I am wearing a dress my mother sewed for me by ripping apart a hand-me-down and re-using the fabric. A couple of summers later, this will be the dress I wear home from the hospital after our son is born.
Me, wearing the dress.

Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones
A song that takes on new significance after the adoption papers are signed.

Cherry Cherry by Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond live onstage at my first college concert. Is this a dream?

High on a Mountain of Love by Johnny Rivers 
I'm wearing a red mini-skirt and a white blouse, driving to my waitress job at a supper club on the Sauk River in rural Minnesota, the job that will get me to California despite the fact that I'm a terrible waitress and my best tips are motivated by pity.

What's on the soundtrack to your past? 
Is it possible to imagine the sound track to our futures?

My mother will remain in the hospital tonight. Maybe I'll go out again. Maybe I'll have popcorn for dinner and sit on the couch with the cat.


Ms. Moon said...

Lord, Lady. There's a lot here. You take good notes on your surroundings.
"Paint It Black." I can't even imagine how black. Bless you.

Elizabeth said...

What a great writing prompt. Thank you for it -- maybe next week.

I loved all of this --