Wake me up when September ends

I’m kind of a nostalgic girl anyway, but three random memories hit me today …

1. I’ve had a serious hankering to work in downtown Birmingham lately. I miss the thrill I got from walking down those busy streets on my lunch break. I always felt so metropolitan (OK, or like a little girl playing dress up) when I crossed to the AmSouth-Harbert Plaza for lunch and coffee. I loved browsing the library’s new books, arriving at the check-out counter with arms so heavy laden that I had to carry my loot back to work in a grocery bag.

And well, I miss the work too. I loved that magazine, loved my editor, loved the designers, loved the location, loved what I wrote about, loved getting to write …

Mmmm yeah. Getting to write.

2. The temperature has dropped slightly tonight. It’s not much, given that it’s still September and I live in Alabama, but it’s enough to build anticipation for the coming autumn. I left work for dinner tonight and walked through the parking lot with my eyes closed, inhaling the nearly-crisp air and imagining the trees changing colors.

(My executive editor walked by as I was doing this. I think he thought me a bit strange.)

As I circled through an off-ramp on my way back to work, I had a sudden flashback to an end-of-the-semester hayride and bonfire during my Florida State days. I can’t recall whether it was the end of my senior year or my last semester at FSU, when I was a grad student. All I can tell you is that it was deliciously cold and I was in a loner sort of mood.

I brought my roommate’s dog with me to the bonfire, providing a handy defense mechanism for those introverted moments. (When you’re busy chasing a dog, it’s easy to slip out of conversations unnoticed, or to avoid getting terribly deep with anyone.)

Come to think of it, I believe it was my last semester at FSU. I’m not sure why I was feeling so anti-social — I probably should have been soaking in all the people-time I could get. But maybe my departure was the cause of my melancholy.

3. As I neared the office, “Please” by The Kinleys came on the mixed tape I was playing. Every time I hear that song (which is, well, not terribly often) I recall the night I broke up with my first boyfriend.

We were sitting in my 1990 Honda Accord parked outside his house. I don’t remember why we got in the car, exactly, I only remember thinking that his mother probably thought we were making out instead of breaking up.

I don’t remember what was said or really much of how he reacted (though I know I was bawling and he tried to comfort me, even though he was the one being dumped). What stands out in my mind is “Please” trickling through the speakers … and although it’s a song about trying not to break up, it still reminds me of that night.

I think it’s kind of amazing that I still have a mixed tape from that long ago.

3 Comments

Filed under Autobiography, Bits & Pieces, Love letters, Lyrics, music

3 Responses to Wake me up when September ends

  1. So, I should call you at midnight tonight? 😉

    Yes, it was glorious that it got cool last night. It was 55F out this morning. Glorious.

  2. Heather

    I’m here! (though I shouldn’t be)

    The hayride was your last semester. You were a loner for the whole of the semester. Funny you remember the mood of the night but not the reasons why. Didn’t know my dog was a scapegoat but glad to be obliged…

    I have a picture of the night. You look happier than you remember. Oh what a smile can hide. ;o) Love ya darlin.

  3. Memories are the most amazing things. Those and dreams. I’d say they’re on the same plane: Neither of them is tangible; both of them, however, can incite the most real emotions you could imagine; they take up the same space in your brain, I think. Which is amazing, because one set happened and took up your muscles, your thought, your heartache, all your senses. And the other began and ended with sleep and only took up as much energy as you need to breath in and out.

    Anyway, getting too philosophical. But I must say that nostalgia is one of my favorite things. It’s one of those things held over from my own loner days. Still have those, I guess.

    We definitely have to hang out.

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