Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Summer I Lost My Best Friends

If I didn’t write it, I definitely said it: music is my foundation.  Music played a huge role in forming who I am, good or bad.  Most anyone can relate to a song or album bringing back memories, again, good or bad.  Just last week, with my music collection on shuffle, I happened upon a song that brought back memories from the summer of 1995.  Ah, summer.

I graduated from a local high school in 1995, WITHOUT honors.  I begged my parents to let me go to Senior Week in Ocean City, Maryland.  Begged is probably a tame word for the shenanigans I was demonstrating.  Within hours of my Mom reluctantly granting her permission I hurriedly packed and waited for my girlfriends.  The week was eventful, but too much unnecessary detail for this blog.  The trip ended with some drama and a near tragedy that left the four hour car ride home full of sarcasm, gossip and spite (if I remember correctly…I was on some prescription narcotics for the pain).  My three girlfriends helped me into the house, as my parents helped me onto the couch.  I collapsed in exhaustion while I watched my friends say their goodbye’s and walk out the door.  Two of those girls I never saw again. 

After a few weeks of recovery, I resumed my pre-college summer vacation, preparing for the ‘best years of my life’.  I spent as much time away from home causing some trouble in my town.  I can’t remember how, but I met a nice guy.  We instantly connected with stars in our eyes.  We spent our time together driving around smoking cigarettes and frequenting diners to drink gallons of coffee with cream and extra sugar.  Occasionally, we’d venture to his parents house and sit in his room listening to music.  We talked about mature things because, ya know, at seventeen you’re all grown up…educated…wise.  The music set the scene.  We could not get enough of two Smashing Pumpkins’ albums, Gish and Pisces Iscariot.  Great albums, great songs, great memories. 

As I referenced earlier, I was on my way to work a few weeks ago when my iPod selected a song from Gish.  Suddenly, my car turned into a surprise party of flashbacks.  I could smell the summer air and stale cigarettes in the car masked by incense.  The warm breeze flowed through my long dark hair and ruffled my few-sizes-too-big tee shirt.  I felt untouchable; I WAS untouchable.  The summer of ‘95 was the start of something big for me.  I couldn’t wait to leave this deadbeat town to start anew.  My overly large and open heart sucked up everything in it’s path.  This was the summer I fell in love with music, coffee, smoking, rebellious attitudes and a boy.  But, the first and last thing I remembered was that I lost my two best friends.