Songs often connect me to another place and time. In today’s case, I was connected to another person’s connection to elsewhere.
She was on my team at a San Mateo start-up. I’d moved to Oregon by now but went down to meet with my team once a month. We’d become good friends by then. First, she’d worked for my wife at an advertising agency. When a resource action moved them to the unemployment rosters, I hired her for a temp position and then ended up asking her to join my team. We carpooled for a while, too, and appreciated one another’s humor.
I had a radio in my office, the same boom box that was bought for office use in Germany a decade before, the same one I use now when I’m doing yard work. Back visiting my team in 2006, she was sitting in my office when they played The Killers, “When You Were Young”.
She said, “Oh, can you turn that up?”
Sure. I did.
Her expression acquired that almost reverential introspective gaze that people sometimes gain when they’re privately reminiscing. We started talking about the song. She told me that it reminded her of a friend. This is had happened about ten years before. She’d met this great guy, they got married, and then he cheated on her. Her friend became severely depressed and was going to kill herself but he found her and stopped it. They ended up going to counseling. Unlike the song, though, he cheated again. That was it for her. She didn’t kill herself, but she did divorced his ass.
So I remember her remembering this song as she remembers her friend.
I watched the video later to get a better understanding of what the song was about. It’s a long video, and they take their time getting into the music.