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.
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.
You Stole My Soul and That's a Pain I Can Do Without...
Most of the year, this song bugs me.
But for a week or two after Labor Day every year, I'll hear this song... and be struck by the sense of melancholy and loss. And the painful realization the poor sap in this song would do it all again...