Summer's almost here, even if it doesn't feel like it and it's got me thinking about free time. "Free time" has become so foreign of a concept to me that I couldn't remember if it were a compound word or not. Also, my free time and my not so free time look a lot alike because they both seem to be spent writing, only differing in the rate and the content and whether I bother to correct comma splices. I love my own comma splices.
A couple of weeks ago Prof. Natov asked us interns what kind of music our parents listened to and I didn't answer then because I couldn't remember my parents listening to music when I was a kid. I'm sure they must have, but when posed with the question, the answer escaped me. And then recently I was in a department store and this song came on and I remembered cars. I remembered my Dad's blue Ford Explorer and my mom's black Mazda Miata and hopping out the backseat of one and going directly into the other, and that this one song would be on in both cars. Thanks to the power of Siri and the mystery of memory, I was able to find the song-- Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason."
According to iTunes, it was a pretty popular song in the summer of 1995, which would have made me three going on four years old, which also happened to be the first year of my parents' divorce, which would make that spotty image I had of being transferred, eerily accurate.
So I kept digging. And although it probably would have been easier to just lookup Chapman's entire discography online, I wanted to know the specific songs or if it were just this one so I invaded my mother's iTunes library and went directly to her "Top Twenty Five Most Played," and low and behold there was another Chapman song sitting right there in the top spot: "Fast Car." This one was a little bit before my time, but still I felt that the song was somehow a parent to the type of stuff I like to write, even though I could have sworn I'd never heard it before. I know, I know, this is all very corny and bizarre but look at the lyrics:
I don't know man, memory is weird. I found my self questioning my own authenticity after this, but I shortly let that go. Post modernism says nothing is new and I'm cool with that, or I'm fake-- an unaware copycat, and I'm cool with that too.
I'll be spending this summer preparing for the first year of my MFA, trying to be the best copycat I can be, and hoping to remember more songs that have somehow made their way into my stories, or not. Who knows?
P.S Here's Fast Car: