Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In which music ties it all together

Driving to the guild meeting this evening, I found myself flipping between two radio stations - the one I wanted to be listening to because the English-speaking DJ was about to start his "drive home" show, and the other one because the song was better.

Considering that I argued and then kind of mostly made up with Alex over the course of the day, I found it amusing that the songs in question were (the obnoxiously whiny) "I Will Always Love You" and (the much more listenable) "Our Love's in Jeopardy."

In addition to playing with the radio, I was obsessively checking the clock and my watch (four minute difference), since I had left the house considerably later than I should have, plus it was rush hour. And raining. I knew from the outset that I would be late for my meeting, but I was beginning to suspect I would be even later than that.

So then a song came on that had to do with not being on time. I can not for the life of me remember what it was. All I know is that it wasn't this one, but once I thought of that one, I couldn't get past it to figure out which one it was (even with the help of some very creative Googling).

Of course, by then the drive home show had started, so the whole "on time" thing might have been the DJ's way of telling everybody to chill before he reported on all the fender benders (which apparently began piling up right behind me, because he mentioned at least three points I had already passed without incident.)

I got to the meeting 40 minutes late. I wasn't late for the guild meeting itself, but the board members were supposed to get there ahead to discuss something that had been left pending at our regular board meeting two weeks ago.

I figured people would be inclined to blame rush hour and the rain, although I was prepared to admit that I had left home later than I should have as well. I wasn't really surprised that some of the others were as late as I was, although I was a bit taken aback to find that only one of us (not me) even remembered why we had agreed to meet early, and then we blew it off anyway.

This, my friends, is why it is sometimes very hard to hold oneself to the punctuality that one is raised to expect of oneself.

I don't want to look up one day and find that I've become incapable of being on time for things, but you know what? I have to acknowledge that I do live in a world where 40 minutes late doesn't always mean you've missed anything, and in many cases 15 minutes late doesn't mean anything at all.

Anyway, on the drive back home I found myself listening to an REO Speedwagon song; I think it was Keep on Loving You. I had that album--Wheels are Turnin'--back in high school; you know, back when there still were albums (although my copy was on cassette). I remembered a particular time when I listened to it while driving myself home, also at night, back when doing so was still a novelty.

When something connects the past and present like that, you can't help but compare the two moments; the person you were then and the person you have since become. My 17 year old self just had no idea that I would be hearing that same music on the radio while driving myself home one night 20 years later. To say nothing of the greater context - Central America and all that.

It made me feel affectionate for my past self. I didn't tend to worry a lot about the future back then (still don't), but it would have been nice to reach back, just for a second, with a quick message: "It's like nothing you can imagine, but it all works out."


meredith April 11, 2007 12:34 AM  

I like this post. Maybe because I can really relate.
I used to listen to REO Speedwagon, too. My album must be in a box in a basement in the middle of Nebraska....

juliloquy April 11, 2007 8:28 AM  

This is wild - I had a dream like that last night (communicating with self of years back) brought on by me finding the scrap of a journal I kept in 1992 and reading it before bed. I couldn't believe how different I was then, how much soul-searching I was doing (and going out 4-5 times a week? and volunteering? and so serious about my new career?), and I wanted to say "hey, don't worry. You'll find yourself, and it will be good."

Kit April 12, 2007 12:10 AM  

I like this post. Music definitely does tie it all together and remind yourself of younger versions of you. I never in a thousand years would have thought I'd be in South Africa in a straw bale house on a farm, when I was a student boycotting Barclays Bank because of apartheid!

Sandy April 12, 2007 3:54 AM  

This is a good one. Sometimes when thinking about my childhood, I imagine the adult me holding and hugging the child me and telling her all those things she never heard from the adults in her life. It's comforting somehow.

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