When I was in college — decades before iPods and little white earbuds swept the world — I was in the minority, bouncing about campus plugged into my tunes.
It was much more tedious back in the days before you could just rip a CD. Hours were spent carefully selecting just the right mix for different moods. The phonograph record was placed on the turntable and a cassette was placed in the player. Recording happened in real time, one track at a time.
Then I was ready. My Walkman cassette player and I went from the J. Reuben Clark Law Building to the Spencer W. Kimball Tower to the Harris Fine Arts Center all to the Top Hits of the 80s. My constant companions were Hall & Oats, Cyndi Lauper, Wham!, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince, Rick Springfield, The Go-Gos, Men Without Hats, The Thompson Twins, Devo, Culture Club, Air Supply, Duran Duran, The Cars. My favorite transportation tune was You Can Do Magic by America. Because I could, you know.
And as I walked, the music reflected my life: upbeat, fun, adventurous, limitless. Everything was ahead of me and so exciting that it might just as well have been broadcast for the world to see. The female version of The Truman Show only I knew the cameras were on.
I guess I kind of forgot about that. Rushing around, being an Adult. Logically noting the Realistic. Being Responsible. Getting Things Done.
But Saturday it all came back to me.
We spent the day at Lagoon. All eight of us. And when we got back in the Excursion to drive home, music blasted out of the car speakers. Somewhere in the back of the gray matter, the notes connected with my past self and I was propelled back in time. Once again I was living in a music video; living the perfect life. This time surrounded by my entire, smiling, loving family. No one missing. No empty chairs.
It just doesn’t get any better than that. And, for once, I remembered to notice.