Tonight, with my significant other taking care of her mother for a week, I went to see a movie here in Burbank called, “Hell Or High Water,” which was a well-written film. After I left the theater, I turned on my car’s XM Radio, which had already been set to the eighties channel. I normally listen to the Highway Country on channel fifty-six, but just before arriving at the movies, I had switched it the channel feeling like a little taste of the eighties. As I drove away, Cindi Lauper’s,“Time After Time” started to play. I was never a huge fan of the song, but for some reason tonight it hit me hard in taking me back to my high school days, and specifically, to memories of my high school girlfriend, Trish. I don’t know why this was. I previously wrote about my experience of having a high school girlfriend in “High School Girlfriend.” I allude to that article because having her in my life at that time was very significant to me.
When I heard Lauper’s song, it was neither her voice, nor the lyrics per se, that whisked me away. I am a very auditory person in the way of musical instruments. In fact, if I’m not listening to a song carefully, I usually digest the melody, the chord structure, and the general “sound” of the song faster than I notice the lyrics. With many songs, I could hear a song once or twice and then play the general chords and melody on the piano. It’s only when I focus my attention onto a song that I really hear what the story is about.
In order to leave downtown Burbank and towards my house, I drove west over the Olive Avenue bridge that spans Interstate 5 freeway, and suddenly it was the flanger guitar, which backs the song, that arrested me and brought me back to the 1980s. Immediately, I felt the desire, like a homing pigeon that suddenly got his bearings, to drive to the front of Trish’s family house, which was 7.7 miles away from where I was. I went west on Victory out of Burbank, turned left onto Fulton Avenue. As I rounded the corner onto Oxnard Street making a right turn, being that it was nighttime and not that well lit around there, I tried to make out the first visible residential street sign to my left…Nagle Avenue. “Nope, that’s not it!” It was always the second street. “Ah, there’s Varna Ave.” I turned left, past another high school friend’s house, Christine, a blonde who hung out with the stoners and who later posed nude in "Hustler Magazine," which, by the way, I had no qualms about investigating while at university. She had a body that rocked.