Lemme Take You Home Tonight...Mama, Now It's Alright
I was in the car the other day and I heard a Boston song. Suddenly I was gleefully falling down a rabbit hole right smack into 1989. Wheeeeee! So I ran home and dowloaded me some free high school nostalgia off the Limewire. I slapped that shit onto my ipod for easy listening but then sorta forgot about it.
Then today I was enjoying my sunny walk to work with the ipod on shuffle, and to my ears' delight, "More Than a Feeling" came on. Man alive! Right back down that rabbit hole again. Boston just makes me feel good. Dangerous. Alive. Sexy. All kinds of sixteen again.
Sixteen. I am sitting in the back of a crappy school bus that always smells like rotten oranges. I'm wearing an itchy plaid uniform skirt that I've rolled up to an obscenely short length, and which I cannot wait to ditch for my holey (not "holy") Levi's. I'm holding a portable stereo on my lap that probably weighs ten pounds and is splattered with paint because I swiped it from the garage where my dad does his "projects".
It's Friday. I'm blasting a mix tape (no, not an 8-track. I'm not that old. Shhh...not a word, Jeremy.) that has some Steve Miller Band (Jungle Love, it's driving me mad, it's making me crayzeeeeee...), "More Than a Feeling", some Doobie Brothers, and of course, Bruce Springsteen. Because, what's a Friday Night Cool Bitchin Mix without some "Born to Run"?
So my sixteen-year-old self has a big night planned. I'm going to meet my friends at the elementary school playground, where we'll drink some Bud Light and/or maybe some peach flavored wine-coolers that give me weird chest pains that always turn into hiccups. My best friend Jenny Mac will monologue about something and I'll sit there enraptured by her ability to captivate an entire group of people so effortlessly when it takes me several beers to even feel comfortable cracking a joke (35 year old Kristin wishes she could give 16 year old Kristin a hug).
At some point the couples will split off from the group and go find quiet, secluded spots under the jungle gym to lay down together. A boy with a hemp necklace and breath that smells like summer and beer and cinnamon Trident will tell me I have beautiful eyes. There will be fumbling with buttons, cold hands over warm flesh under Gap long-sleeved waffle tee shirts. My Levi's will get more grass stains.
We might make our way over to an impromptu party thrown by a girl named Stephanie who is terribly mean but who always tends to have an open-door policy at her house because her rich, alcoholic parents go to black-tie fundraisers on weekends. Before leaving the party for the night Jenny Mac will slip an empty beer can under her mom's pillow. Hee hee. Bitches.
When I get home I will sneak out onto the roof outside my bedroom and sit watching my quiet block. I will romanticize a future where I don't need to climb out a window in order to go outside late at night. I will have my own house with a lot of land and I will sit on a porch swing with my legs tucked under me, sipping a glass of wine with a man that I love, listening to the night. It will be totally awesome.
But on the roof the night air gets chilly so I'll slip inside and grab a blanket and my journal. I will write and write until I hear a rustling sound. Then I will spot my sister silently slipping out of the window next to mine to climb down and visit the house next door, where her boyfriend lives. This is the same boyfriend who, some ten years later and long after they've broken up, will climb up this same roof and bang on Lisa's window in a drunken stupor. My father, the patron saint of bereft boyfriends, will coax him down to the ground and set him up in our guest room to sleep it off, where he will totally shit his pants. The boyfriend, not my father.
Oh, if only I knew then what a colorful future lay ahead of me...