I’ve probably driven down highway 528 in Orlando about a dozen times in the past two years. At least four of those trips were to pick someone up from the airport and another three or four were to see Nick and Tammy. Some of the others were to random places, such as the Kennedy Space Center or Melbourne – where I got to this weekend to see Anne. I always try to figure out something new when I travel long distances by myself since there isn’t anyone to talk with. My mind wanders and if I’m not daydreaming of something new then there’s a good chance I’m evaluating some past experience and how I could’ve done it differently.
Each time I’m heading east on the 528 I see the sign for the Semoran Boulevard exit. The reason the road name sticks in my head stems back a ways (I would estimate a little over two years ago) to when I drove to Orlando and went to Disney with Jennifer. It was great to get away from everyone and everything else and spend time with someone I wanted to be close with. It seems like that was forever ago, but it’s always nice to be reminded of the good things. Although now I’ve grown away from that part of my life, I hope I don’t forget anything about it.
In a similar way, listening to one of my favorite bands takes me to November of 1998. Soon after turning 16, I saw the Barenaked Ladies at the Sunrise Musical Theatre with my then girlfriend Debbie. The fact that we even got there was surprising seeing as how until four or five hours before the show we didn’t even have tickets. The way the theatre is set up, there isn’t a bad seat in the place and we had tickets about half way up from the bottom section. Once they started playing everything becomes kind of a blur, but there isn’t a time when I hear “It’s All Been Done” or “Jane” that I don’t think of Debbie and the really fun time I had with her. I hope that she has a similarly fond memory of me, but yet considering how I treated her I’m not so sure. I may not remember much else about how it felt to be in a relationship with her, but I’m very glad I’ll always have the music.
I’m usually not surprised when music brings me back to a moment in time, and in fact I’ve come to expect it. On the other hand, it does catch me off guard when I feel a certain way because of where I am. I’m sure I probably couldn’t care less if I was ever back in the Sunrise Musical Theatre, and I know I couldn’t tell you any song I heard on the radio in the car with Jen. Neither is more important to me than the other, so as I begin to evaluate my past I find it a blessing to have some emotion attached to these memories at all.