They Suggest Piano Lessons for Young Beauty Queens
The days got longer, the pants got shorter, and the sun got warmer.
And the plans started hatching. Where we'd go. Who we'd visit. What we'd eat.
Then the couples shattered, stretched, and broke.
And another summer had arrived. This one different. This one less carefree, more serious.
This time the end was in sight. And for most of us, it wasn't filled with joy and gladness. It was filled with doubt and despair.
The internships were horrific, hours of torture bookending endless drinking. More and more, conversations would begin with "Can you believe people live like this?"
The phone calls were more tense.
The concerts were harder to plan.
The standing Tuesday night Frisbee games moved to Thursday, then to Saturday afternoon, then to never.
The interruptions -- which had made each previous summer bearable -- now became something we dreaded.
There was a chill everywhere, even when it was over 100 degrees and the wind was blowing inland off the tides of shorelines gone.
The ones who'd already left were divided into two groups: the ones who admitted their unhappiness and the ones who could hide their unhappiness.
We didn't know what was happening... only that it was important.
And, as we struggled to wring the last drop of May out of the air, we couldn't wait for June to come. Everything would change.
Of course, back then, we thought we could come back anytime we wanted.
You could argue that Enigma Records was the coolest label in the world in 1985.
I wore most of the oxide off a 1985 cassette sampler from Enigma, driving far too fast on roads in 21 different states in a French car constructed (poorly) in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Who knows, the tape might still be around in an old shoe box or still in the glove compartment that car, which I haven't owned since the 90s.)
I don't remember much about the cassette, but it had songs on it by Don Dixon, Game Theory, the Smithereens, the Dead Milkmen, and (if memory serves) Mojo Nixon.
If I had the tape right now (okay, and if I had a car that could play tapes), I'd get on the nearest highway right now, roll down all the windows, blast the rest of the oxide off it at high levels of volume, and drive approximately 123mph.
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