Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Laser-Etched History Never Repeats

I remember the scar.

I wake up in the middle of the night. Burning with memory of texture, the feel, the way the years softened the color.

It takes a few minutes to realize I'm here and now, not there and then. (Link for Gmail subscribers.)

In the darkness, I remember.

It was just below her knee. She never explained it, never told me the childhood injury that caused it. It was just there. And whenever I'd touch it or kiss it, she'd pull back. So willing in other ways, so shy about the scar.

And if the scar was protected, the cause of the scar was walled-in, completely off-limits. And therefore endlessly fascinating.

She'd been to New Zealand. At a time when people just didn't go to New Zealand. And she loved Split Enz, whom she'd seen in New Zealand.

And she loved her copy of True Colors, the album that had images etched onto the vinyl with lasers. As a result, when light hit the spinning record, laser images of different shapes danced around the room. So we'd listen to the album at night, watch the shapes on the walls, and talk about everything.

Except the scar.

Years later, the CD still sounds good. The perfect pop songs are there. But there's no laser-etched shapes to dance around the room.

And she's gone, too. Took the scar and her secrets and went far away.

But late at night, when the moon reflects off something shiny, I watch colored shapes dance around the room. And I remember the record, remember her.

And, most of all, I remember the scar.


Anonymous said...

I used to see dozens of copies of that record in used record stores in the 90s. I never knew about the laser etchings, though!

Mister Pleasant said...

Ah yes, that little NZ masterpiece that slipped through the cracks of popularity in the USA, other than the occasional MTV video late at night.

I love those vinyl laser etchings. Besides the wonderful music, it really set the album apart from its peers at that time. Just checked my 45 rpm of One Step Ahead b/w In The Wars, and sure enough it also has the etchings, as well as the picture cover which is an image of the vinyl with the etchings in rainbow colors.

Great story by the way... sad yet wonderful that the music reminds you of that freindship.

Anonymous said...

I still have that LP