In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”
A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place. Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why?
Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don’t ask why
It’s not a question, but a lesson learned in time
I am sitting on the bleachers at the back of the school gymnasium – bleachers that only eighth graders can sit on because in a middle school, eighth graders are the seniors. The sixth and seventh graders are sitting on the floor, spread out and squished together into a sea of cross-legged bodies.
No cell phones or tablets to light our chins into ghostly silhouettes. Our eyes only saw the projector screen at the front. Our ears only heard Green Day’s “Time of Your Life”.
And the slideshow would play.
So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos and memories and dead skin on trial
For what it’s worth it was worth all the while
I am 13, sitting in a gymnasium, wearing flared jeans, DC skater shoes, and a pink velour tracksuit jacket. It is the beginning of summer 2007 before my first year of high school. This is the annual end-of-the-year assembly, where teachers put together a slideshow with photos from kids throughout the year. I sit with my closest friends and cheer when we see ourselves in the slideshow.
That is where Green Day takes me to. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, “Wake Me Up When September Ends”, and “Time of Your Life” are the songs from my middle school years.
I often tell people that middle school was just bad – hundreds of 11-13 year-olds on the cusp of being a “teenager” (“I can do whatever I want, mom, I’m 13, remember?”), trapped together to deal with puberty, bullies, and badly drawn eyeliner. The school playground is just a couple of monkey bars, implying that you’re too old to be playing grounders, so you spend your lunch just talking about stuff with your friends and that somehow becomes what is fun.
But it was fun at the time. I was a brat who wanted to “fit in” (as cliche as that sounds) and I cringe when I see a photo of myself from back then, but to this day I still have precious friends from my middle school years. In a time when friends could stop being friends simply from being placed in different classes, what more can I possibly ask for?
It’s something unpredictable, but in the end is right,
I hope you had the time of your life.