Thursday, September 29, 2011

The beauty (and awkwardness) of memory

Yesterday, I was listening to the radio. As it turns out, radio stations still exist! Who knew!? Anyway, to my surprise, this little ditty came on...

Actually, it was the far-superior live recording and it took me back...way back. Immediately I was with a past paramour, experiencing my first, ahem, shirtless makeout moment. I remember very clearly that video being on MTV because of three things:

1. He loved Jane's Addiction
2. At one point he stopped making out with me to sing along to his favorite part
3. At the end of the video the audience applauds and I remember thinking, "I feel like clapping too!"

Also, hi Mom and I'm sorry you just read that.

When I heard that song out of the blue yesterday, it made me smile. Maybe because it brings me back to a more innocent time before broken hearts or sex, maybe because it was so clearly an awesome moment for me and the guy I was dating, maybe because it makes me remember how goddamn cute that boyfriend was. Years after that boyfriend was no longer my boyfriend, I was at the movies and when a person sat down behind me, my face flushed bright red. I recognized that person's smell - not cologne, just the way they smelled. I didn't have the guts to turn around until the movie was over, but there he was: Jane's Addiction himself, just as I knew he would be.

Sense memory is such a bizarre thing to me. The taste of delicious, aged gouda takes me back to my first apartment in Philly, sitting on the couch with my then-boyfriend, watching Ed Wood. This is perhaps because I ate TOO MUCH GOUDA that night and had to go to bed with a big tummy ache. A chilly, misty day where you constantly wish you had a scarf puts me right back on the streets of London, promising myself a strong, sweet cup of tea if I took very good notes in class. No notes, no tea. Doodles optional. The smell of sawdust has changed for me from a reminder of high school plays to putting up my company's first shows. And "Jane Says" will always bring back that sweet memory, even if it's not exactly the world's most romantic song. If I've learned anything in my 31 years, it's that you can't choose the moments that stick with you, no matter how hard you try.

1 comment:

  1. I like when those memories come back-I think many of them are comforting. I was talking about the same thing with Nikki yesterday. We smelled cigarette smoke and it reminded her of her smoking days. Whenever I smell smoke, I think of freshman year at Drew, sitting in Sweet Dreams watching that musician play.