Downtown

“Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’m feeling particularly nostalgic the last (very long) while. Listening to Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis makes me reminisce of the past – driving in my old Pontiac Acadian (cherry red, 4 door, 5 speed hatchback – loved that fucking car), sun blinding me and those tiny sun visors doing nothing to stop it. The smell of beach air, friends talking, dancing, singing, laughing.

Summer Shine summarises a bit, but the essence…oh that essence

Summer Shine

I love that summer shine
you know it
The sun so hot
the grass so cool
you just want to sit
in the shade just right
under the willow
The clouds so high
and barely there
you wish you could dive
into the blue sky
so inviting in the day
When the night comes
the stars shimmer so clear
the moon kisses them
until they disappear
into another summer shine day
No breeze to fly a kite
the hum of insects
frogs croaking
birds chirping
today is the day
of that summer shine
The reflection off the lake
strikes the eyes
and makes you blind
to that child that splashes
the water on you
It freezes and feels so good
Tip toe over the hot road
feet in the sand
make it to the beach
When the summer shine ends
the bonfire full roars
at that full moon
They sing and dance
filling the night
with an intensity
until the next
summer shine

My hand holds an Alpine, it’s starting to get too warm, but I don’t care. Later, we’ll head down to the green downtown. We’ll hang out on a blanket, so much laughter peeling out from our lungs.

Driving with the windows down, the gas gauge is broken, but it doesn’t matter. We’re together. We’re innocent. We don’t have cell phones, we don’t have computers. It’s just us, my old Pontiac Acadian, laughter, love, friendship. That guy I have the crush on is there, I’m wayyyy too shy and anxious to act on my feelings. Butterflies are floating like crazy in my stomach. My friend teases me, but she knows. They just get me.

I have trauma in that innocence, but it’s grip is soft. I’ve constant friends about me…I’m lonely, but it’s a warm loneliness. I don’t worry as much, I don’t feel like I’m imposing by existing. I’m the driver in my life and it’s pretty damn good (why didn’t I see that then?).

Now, present day. I have a constant yearning in my soul. I can’t pick it out. I can’t identify it. Constant anxiety, worry for my kids, worry for my husband, worry about this world. I’m overwhelmed. I’d love to go downtown, sit on the green and just soak up the sun. I want to hold that memory in a steel trap and never let it out. The grip of trauma has grown so much stronger. I’m constantly raw by it’s chaffing hold. I’m just a breath away from seeing that moment, that crisp feeling of wholeness. It sits just out of my sight, barely in the shadows, waiting for the sunlight to wake it, move it.

The wonder that once filled me has dimmed in the lights of age, but I know I can find it again. I know it’s there.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Downtown

Gold Old Days

“I am hopelessly in love with a memory. An echo from another time, another place.”  ― Michel Foucault

“…you are battered and bruised in the collisions between reminiscence and reality.” 
― David EaglemanSum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

I’ve caught myself reminiscing frequently of late. I have such strong emotions attached to a time when a you me seemed so carefree. I wasn’t, but many thought I was and I never removed that mask for them.

This thing called adulthood…I don’t know.

On my morning drives to work, I am often struck by how formulaic we are, drones dropping the kids off at daycare or school, drones driving to work, parking, working.

I often catch myself yearning for the days when I had the energy and stamina to do everything I needed to and wanted to. I remember bonfires on the beach, friends laughing as we mentally toasted us all with another drink.

I remember car rides full of laughter, camp outs in the rain, hugs from anyone remotely considered friend.

I remember nights of excess with friends to hold my hair back. Nights of dancing until past last call.

I remember sleep overs full of music and talking.

I remember the wind in the windows of my old Pontiac Acadian – no AC back then. It was a 5 speed, 4 door hatchback. I loved that car. It was red. I would drive that thing everywhere – quite literally. Down back roads meant for ATVs, to the beach for an all-night camp out. hundreds of miles but on the engine that constantly rattled enough to pop off it’s oil cap. So many times I had to replace that cap – “Gwen, the oil light is on.” “It’s ok, I just need another cap.”

There were no cell phones. No computers, nothing fancier than an Atari that often got left behind, covered in dust. I can feel the sun on my face even now. The smell of Spring and Summer when we would just be.

I wish somebody would have told just how awesome those days actually were going to be…but I know I wouldn’t have listened.

Mackelmore feat. Kesha – Good Old Days