THE SONG not only evokes the memory, it takes me back to that place. Gives me back that feeling, the place, the weather, the sadness or happiness of that moment. I’m there again.
“Kathy, I’m lost, I said, though I knew she was sleeping. I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.”
Simon and Garfunkel transport me back-I’m young and heartbroken and disillusioned and, WOW, they used my name. My most important boyfriend gave me my first S&G album and I’ve loved them ever since.
“Imagine me and you-I do-I think about you day and night, it’s only right, to think about the girl you love, and hold her tight-So Happy Together." The Turtles take me to my room, pale green with soft green and white striped curtains and sheets. My shorthand teacher suggested practicing to the radio. I loved that assignment! I must have written those words dozens of times. The only radio station I could reliably tune in had a very short playlist.
A few years later, married, pregnant and living in Key West. Hot and humid and rainy most every day. A different world from the Pennsylvania dairy farm where I grew up! Several songs can take me there. “I Wanna Make It With You” (Bread), “Fire and Rain” (James Taylor), “Spill the Wine” Eric Burden and the Animals. When I hear them, I close my eyes and I’m sitting at the old metal table I covered with bright contact paper to hide the rust. I’m smoking a cigarette and reading Ayn Rand. (yes, I was pregnant. In my defense, that was before we knew the possible consequences of that act) It’s hot and sunny-so humid! Then clouds and torrential downpours. The conch train goes by the Presidential Gate across from my downstairs apartment. Good thing it’s covered. In an hour or less, just as hot, all evidence of rain, gone.
Some years later, my sister was sick-deep depression-empty eyes. She had a record she loved and played over and over. When she died, I played that record once and never again. I was there again, the sadness, frustration, hope, fear and the culmination of sorrow and loss.
The song remembers when-through good times and bad-the soundtrack of my life.