Two Hundred Forty-Four.
Monday, 2022.07.04, 1:53 PM central time.
Independence Day, Mandarin Orange Slice, and yearning for 1990.
Current Mood: Accomplished, extremely
nostalgic, and grateful.
Current Scent: Gothic II by Loree Rodkin, from a sample.
no heartthrob of the ages
You're not anything
You're not half the person
That your mama swore you could be
All my life
I've tried to walk the line
You're no heartthrob of the ages
You're not bigger than your demons, no..."
Empty Streets, "Heartthrob of the Ages," 2021.
afternoon, I went to the grocery store with my girlfriend. It's
an experience that I absolutely adore, because we get a chance to do
something necessary for our households while still spending time together
and having good conversations.
at Reasor's, I mentioned Mandarin Orange Slice. She didn't remember
the "mandarin" part, but she did remember drinking Orange
Slice when she was younger. I told her that If she had Orange
Slice, then it had to have been Mandarin Orange Slice, because that
was the only Orange Slice ever produced by Pepsi.
research later revealed that I was wrong. Whoops! According
to Wikipedia, which I realize isn't the most credible source, Pepsi
reformulated Mandarin Orange Slice in 1997 and released the new "Orange
Slice" at that point for a while. Considering that she's
twelve years my junior... this is very likely what she remembers.)
even though I knew it was not a sound nutritional choice, I bought a
two-liter of Orange Crush. It was the closest I could get to Mandarin
Orange Slice, and the nostalgia was hitting hard.
the temperature is set to reach 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
have my sons with me, and we will be heading out with my ex-wife this
evening to have the traditional July 4th dinner from Sonic and then
watch some fireworks somewhere.
mean - don't get me wrong. My boys and my girlfriend mean a LOT
to me. But 1990... God, I wish I could revisit.
wish that I could be celebrating the fourth of July of 1990, sitting
on the deck of my family's swimming pool, or maybe standing down in
the pool, alternating between cans of Cherry Coca-Cola and Mandarin
Orange Slice, having a lighthearted party with Dave and Kevin and Billy...
and some girls, of course.
my parents and maternal grandparents could be inside, with my mom and
grandpa playing gin while talking about movies.
could come out to the pool for a minute to tell me that I needed to
call someone back about a new EKG Mobile Music and Light Show DJ booking.
Maybe I could convince her to make a run into Claremore to pick up some
pizzas from Simple Simon's.
we were all done with the pool, right around sunset, we could all get
dried off and then have a party in the garage, with Dave and I going
back and forth on DJ duty. "Policy of Truth" would have
been the latest Depeche Mode single at the time.
one point, I'd want a slow track, since slow-dancing was always more
of my speed. DM's "Waiting for the Night" and/or DM's
"Blue Dress" and/or Duran Duran's "Secret Oktober"
could be played.
in this case, I would swap out my girlfriend at the time (turned out,
loyalty wasn't her strong suit) for Melissa from Foyil. What a
kind soul she was. She deserved better than she got, but I hope
that life eventually treated her well.
the laughter had subsided, the music had ended, all of the pizza and
the Mandarin Orange Slice had been consumed, and most of the people
had gone home, perhaps I could go inside and play some "Master
Chu and the Drunkard Hu" on the Nintendo.
then, just maybe, I could sleep and dream without the worries of a true
never celebrated the fourth of July with those friends in 1990.
We had similar experiences during that summer, but not on Independence
a decade later, almost all of those friends would have moved away or
disappeared from my life... and I would be having all-new adventures
with new friends at a video store, while pursuing my bachelor's degree,
DJing for events, and battling mental illness.
would stop producing Mandarin Orange Slice in 1997.
years later, my grandpa would be dead.
years after that, my mom would die... and around that time, the pool
would be dismantled and sold off, leaving a big, permanent circle in
years after that, my dad would die.
than three years after that, my grandma would die.
fifty, I can still see the memories so clearly, and so beautifully...
but they torment me.
was such a different person then, interesting and kind, but deeply flawed.
old me wouldn't have liked the current me - for numerous reasons.
But, God, how I love and miss that awkward, wavy-haired little dude
from thirty-two years ago.
2022-07-07 - Changed the quote to something more appropriate from a
different Empty Streets track.]
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