So I'm sitting here working on some graphics for a client who's given me quite a lot of artistic license. I've reached a somewhat easy stretch. Not redundant, exactly. I'm building up texture, adding distressed marks to grunge up a surface, cloning in other textures... so on and so forth. There's definitely a "We won't be needing the entire brain for this part of the activity" vibe going on. Which isn't always the case, of course.
The part of my brain that has begun to disengage starts trying to remember the name of a guy I met when I was 17. Mike. Yea, that's it! What an unsavory character he turned out to be! Although on the night in question, I was choosing to mostly ignore the evidence before me. Seizing the day. What else, if not seizing the day, is being 17 for?
Mike was a bit older. Home on military leave of some sort? The whole situation was sort of sketchy, so I can't say for certain, but this is how it faded into focus today. The guy was my first blind date ever. A double one. He was maybe the cousin of my friend's date. (I think the cousin was okay. Certainly more okay than Mike ended up being.) Our dates were to accompany us to a party at the house of another of our friends.
Still designing, I've remembered this guy's name, and now I'm recalling what it was like to dance with him. We're standing by this gorgeous, enormous, glass-topped desk in our hostess-friend's dad's house; he's "the cool dad" who shoots pool with us, and his house is great fun, too. Under the glass that covers the desk are artsy, haphazard arrangements of photos, including some black and whites taken back when he was still married to friend's mom. I recall thinking they were both really attractive when young, and looked so happy. His stereo system fills the closet nearby and some of us have turned the general area into a dance floor, since people keep entering the closet to change the music.
OMD's If You Leave is playing. From the Pretty in Pink soundtrack we've all fallen in love with, as the movie that brought it to us. The guy can dance, but I can't quite bring myself to believe I'm dancing with someone who so clearly showed up intentionally dressed for, well, what, exactly? Where would you wear such clothes? The pool? The basketball court? Yard work? Hard to say.
So we're dancing, and he has the most cocky look on his face. The me of now thinks it's ludicrous that guys actually get by with stuff like that. The me of then is enjoying the attention, unaware that most of the attention is turned on himself, with just enough thrown my way to make sure we're both fawning.
Now it's 2010, and I'm grinning with my recollections of more innocent times. All of which was triggered by a single song in my mix today. One little song on a Tuesday afternoon, and I'm back in Greenville, SC, a junior in high school, so naive the kids of today would snort in derision. Everything loomed ahead of us that night. I didn't even know where I'd be going to college, yet. (Or how many of them there would be.) :) Didn't know that within a year or two, it would be more than 20 years before I'd reconnect with either of my friends again, hostess or she-who-fixed-me-up, and it would be via a then-unimaginable phenomenon called The Internet through an online community called Facebook. Didn't know anything at all, really, except for the way it feels to be 17. Well, that and curious about everything. Turns out some things really don't change that much, even when the naivete gets chipped away.
Two nights ago, Molly Ringwald walked onto an Oscars stage to speak about John Hughes, the filmmaker who captured the essence of so many of our realities back then, and put it on the big screen for us to watch with the hopeful twinges his stories brought to us: "Maybe I'm not all that weird. These guys are struggling, too. They're different from me, but a little like me, too. If they can figure it out all right..." Of course, most of the time, those messages didn't make it through the insecurities. It would take years of stumbling and banging our heads against walls, before we discovered that we're all perfect and messed up at once, same as everybody else.
Except that guy Mike. I think he was mostly just messed up. (Although I do recall that when I kissed him in my friend's back yard later, he wasn't half bad. I liked it, and wanted to do it a lot more.)
I put down my work to write this. Now as I return to the groove, I'm grinning with my well-explored bubble of nostalgia that's settled around me, I'm feeling warm and cozy, and think I should take a minute to say hello to Jenn and Amy. It might be funny to find out their own perspectives on that night in '86. Or if they even remember it at all...
Happy Tuesday, y'all!