“I remember standing on the corner at midnight, trying to get my courage up. There was this long lovely dancer in this club downtown, I loved to watch her do her stuff. Through the long lonely nights she filled my sleep, her body softly swaying to that smokey beat, down on Main Street…”
In 1980 I was at a Bob Seger concert at Boston Garden. When it was announced that they were recording this concert for a new LP (yes, I’m that old), I was standing on the chair, screaming, jumping up and down! It was a great concert.
In 1980 I was almost 20 years old. At the concert with a guy that died a young death in a snowmobile accident. He was 27 years old, with a wife and two kids. We were long gone as a couple, but we both loved music. We went to many concerts in the short time we were together. He had big blue eyes, curly blonde hair, and was a big guy, someone who I felt protected with when we went to a “Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Colt” concert in Boston. My god, there were more people tripping than straight. But I digress.
I often relate music to times in my life. More so than not. The memories can be very vivid, and can raise me up or drop me to my knees. It wasn’t until later in life that I learned what real hardship and heartache was. And don’t get me wrong, as a young person, love is a hard thing, especially lost love, but now, I think back and smile, grateful for the memories. Some things weren’t meant to be. And as true with most things, as I lived out portions of my life, I would understand why things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to, or had hoped they would. I see young people and I think “My God, was I really ever that young? That innocent?” Hell YES!
It’s been many years since I stood on that chair screaming and singing my lungs out. And when people say “he or she has changed”, I smile and listen, but my thoughts are “Have they?” Have I? Yes, life has a way of smartening you up, experiences have a way of defining moments that change the course of your life. But are we the same?
Best as my experience tells me, when you knew someone in your youth, if they were good, kind people, then chances are they still are. And if they were an asshole? They may still be! Life dishes out suntans AND wet towels! Sometimes the wet towels are so heavy it takes everything you’ve got to keep moving. But experience has taught me it helps to toss the wet towels, grab from it all that you have learned, both good and bad, then drop it in its path, and continue on.
Maturity is a beautiful thing. In life we learn all kinds of things about people, ourselves. I learned at the age above in my life this relationship was not meant to be. While there was pain, it passed. And I’m very grateful that I wasn’t his widow at 27.
The kind of people that draw my attention are the people who have walked through hell and kept walking. Because NO ONE’s life is perfect, and some of us have learned the value in being honest about it. That doesn’t mean you stay sitting in the sand, with the wet towel around your neck. It means you learn to be kinder to yourself, to accept change, and you learn the type of people who are deserving of your time, your heart.
Real people, with real issues. I like people who have survived major shit. Why? Because they know who they are, they know what they don’t want, and what they do, and they value the smaller things in life, like the values of a person, not their mistakes. And when we can finally accept that about ourselves, those of us who are blessed to live long enough to figure that out, there is comfort and peace in knowing, everything is as it should be, even if we don’t like it.
Very grateful for my life, and where I am today. Is it perfect? Not even close, but it’s mine, and I plan to make the most of it!