The Duality of a Memory

My favorite radio station on Sirius XM is 90’s on 9.  I think that is the equivalent of how my parents always listened to classic rock while I was growing up.  I’ve already settled into my music generation and I’ve become a curmudgeon who complains about rappers’ saggy pants and how you can’t understand a damn thing they say.  Once in a while I put on Z100 to see “what the kids are listening to” and it all sounds like hot garbage noise.

The other morning driving to work, the song “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden came on the radio.  This song always hits a nostalgic, happy chord in my heart, even if I can admit that as an adult the lyrics are the most schmaltzy crap that two men had ever sang.

When that song starts playing, I am always reminded of a snapshot in my life so pure and so genuine it might as well have been on 7th Heaven.  In that moment, I’m 15 years old again, and I’m at the roller rink, holding hands with my boyfriend during “Couples Skate.”  It’s the uncomplicated simplicity of teenage romance of just holding hands and skating in loops that gives me a bittersweet ache for that time.  No, not because he was “my one true love that I will always hold a place for in my heart.”  It’s just the way things were easy then.  My biggest worry was making sure my friend’s mom got us home on time so I wouldn’t break curfew.  I wondered if my boyfriend would kiss me goodnight at the door.  And as much as I’m writing these words out now, back then I was thinking about how I would write this all down in my diary that night before I went to bed.
The other half to this memory is not as saccharine sweet.  My friend, let’s call her Lori, for the sake of anonymity and everything being on the internet, and if she finds my blog, I don’t want to embarrass her, was the kind of girl who really got away with a lot as a kid.  I always thought she was spoiled.  She got almost anything she wanted and name-brand designer clothes, while I was still relegated to shopping at K-Mart or Bradlee’s.  She got away with wearing kind of hood-skank clothes, that I somehow envied, and could also go out of the house wearing a lot of makeup with chola eyebrows and brown-asshole-looking lined lips, whereas I had to sneak putting a little rose-colored Avon lipgloss on once I got to school.  She was way more advanced sexually than I was as well.  I felt like a stupid diaper baby with her most of the time, but I wasn’t necessarily in any hurry to “catch up” to her level at the same time.
Lori got away with a lot because she was the youngest, her parents were older, and the rest of her siblings were grown up, moved out and started having families of their own.  My dad would have burned my stereo and sent me to re-education camp if something like this came on the radio, but in Lori’s mom’s huge ass ark of a mini-van, our wholesome rollerblading evening ended with Lori blowing her boyfriend in the way-back seat while this romantic ditty serenaded us all:
Lil’ Kim:  Big Momma Thang

It was a simpler time back then, I’m tearing up now.

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