Sunday, August 28, 2011

More Memories

After the last post about memory and songs, it seems that every time I turn on the radio I hear something that takes me back.  Not the songs that you hear everyday, but the ones that seem to happen randomly and take you back to those moments that reside in the back of your brain.  The memories that you've filed away and might never recall again until something happens to trigger it.

Here in Charlottesville, the UVa students moved in just a week or so ago.  After reading several facebook posts from residents complaining about the traffic the students brought to town I got in the car for a quick trip to the supermarket.  What did I hear but "Here's Where the Story Ends" by the Sundays.  That song was an anthem for my last summer at home before leaving for college myself.

I worked at KFC that summer.  The worst job I ever had.  My parents had lobbied for me to return to the factory, but I insisted on something different. (Parents 1- Me 0; they were right)  There was an assistant manager at the store.  She was 35-40 years old, mother of a few, former husband in jail, and on top of it, I didn't find her attractive.  I was only seventeen.  I'll spare the details, but she started behaving rather inappropriately toward me and I was scared.

On my last night at work, I showed up over an hour late.  A friend of mine had already quit, and skipped out completely on his last scheduled shift.  This manager's shift ended as mine began that day.  I couldn't bring myself to just cut out, but I thought after a half hour or so she would think that I had decided to skip out like my friend.  She didn't.  She waited up to see me.  I went back into the kitchen and wouldn't come out, and she wasn't allowed back since she wasn't working.  At the end of my shift she was waiting in the parking lot.

I got into my car and cranked it while she stood in the door trying to talk.  I didn't hear a word of what she said, but the tape playing in my car would leave a memory etched into my brain that remains to this day.  "It's that little souvenir, of a terrible year."  I finally pulled out of the parking lot leaving that job and everything about it behind.

Several weeks later I remember sitting in my new dorm.  I'd brought the tape with me and played it in the room as my roommate arrived.  We made small talk, but the interaction was awkward.  I'd just bought a fan that I needed to assemble, so that occupied my hands and gave me something to do.  When the track played on the tape, I remembered just how awful my last summer at home had been.  I sat on the edge of my bed and looked across the room at this new face listening to the words "Here's Where the Story Ends." and I new that every chapter of our lives can be closed with those words, but the story really never ends.  It becomes a part of our life and prepares us to create new stories that we will take with us forever.

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