While on my way to Coolidge today I was flipping through the radio stations looking for one that didn’t have a commercial on. That is usually a fruitless effort as there seems to be some sort of FCC rule that they all go on commercial break at the same time, that or the stations do it on purpose since you are less likely to switch the station if they are all on commercial break. I got no idea.
Imagine my surprise to find that there was actually a song playing on Mix 96.9 the best mix of the ’80’s, ’90’s and today. It happened to be the Whitesnake song Here I Go Again, which I was a huge fan of back in the day. I cranked the radio up to 28 (that is not an exaggeration. For some reason these new-fangled stereos don’t think 10 is a high enough number), which is about as far as I can get it without it turning into a horrible, crackling cacophony.
I only caught the last minute or so of the song; just long enough to do some of the worst karaoke you would ever care to hear, but thankfully won’t have to. While the radio went to commercial I found myself thinking of the time I was in when that song was popular. I was thinking about those awkward days of High School, trying to fit in with the “cool kids”, but still too young to realize that the “cool kids” were really just doing their best to fit in as well.
I thought about all of those times when I was really in love, for sure this time, only to be let down a week later when some guy with a cooler car came along. Here I Go Again would be forever in my tape deck, “’cause I know what it means to walk along this lonely street of dreams.” It was usually replaced fairly quickly with Is This Love?, since the average lifespan of any relationship or lack thereof seem to be inexplicably linked.
I suppose I should be thankful that my memory (everyone’s?) has a way sugar-coating a lot of the time I spent being on the wrong end of a relationship. Well that’s not true, I still remember it with crystal clarity but time has faded the emotion of it. I can now listen to all of those old songs and think of nothing but happy memories, well mostly anyway. I still have a song that runs through my head on occasion that makes me sad; it’s more just a melody with the only line being “Your greatest legacy is the song that I can’t write”. A song that I have tried, many times, to write in memory of my father, but can’t complete, probably never will.
When the radio finally came out of commercial break I was instantly torn from that time in my life to a time much more recent.
After my parents divorced I made a decision that I wasn’t going to get married, so when I began living with my wife girlfriend back in 1997 (I am pretty sure on that) I didn’t think much about it. It’s not that I didn’t love her, didn’t want to spend the rest of my life with her, more that I just didn’t think I needed a piece of paper to prove my love for her. I guess it was about more than the piece of paper though. We did get married of course, and still are. Our fifth wedding anniversary is coming up later this month.
So, as I was listening to, and singing along with, Tonic’s song If You Could Only See, I was taken back to that time. A time that is also pretty far back, but a time that still has a lot of emotion. All good emotion.
The thing about that song is that I really don’t know what exactly it was intended to mean. I know what it means to me, what I have made it mean to me, but the actual lyrics don’t really mesh with what it has become to me. To me it is an anthem singing the praise of my love for my wife, that is all that really matters I suppose.
The song was still in my head as I came into the house today, and as such I did a little thing that I do from time to time. It is a silly little thing that I do, I just look in my wallet to make sure that it is still there. She gave it to me so many years ago, you see, long before we got married. Being the sap that I am I have kept it in my wallet ever since. So from time to time, though usually when I am feeling down, I take it out and look at it, it is amazing how much better it can make me feel. While it is nothing of any value, it is the most precious thing that she has given me.
It has become a bit tattered over the years (something that the scan of it doesn’t really show), but it still means as much to me as it did the day she gave it to me. I am not sure if she knew that it would become so important to me, but I suppose we all put different sentimental values on all the things around us. To me this is everything.
Usually I look at it, then the song comes to mind. Today I heard the song and the card came to mind. But that was good, it has been far too long since I have taken it out just to look at it. Far too long since I have had the line “If you could only see how blue her eyes can be when she says she loves me” stuck in my head.
Really, how often can you look at something so simple and feel like the luckiest man on earth?
“If you could only see the way she loves me, Then maybe you would understand”.