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.