Many songs that I remember have specific moments attached. They follow traditional, predictable patterns of love, success, pain, and failure.
Today’s song is hotly linked to success. It was 1999. Retired from the military, I was working in a medical device startup company. I began as the customer service manager. Then the company was bought out. And on this day, the new VP of marketing from the company who bought us had offered me a big promotion, to become a product manager, and I’d accepted.
The world looked great. This was in the summer in the Peninsula portion of the SF Bay Area known as Silicon Valley. I was in my car, a vehicle I enjoyed The sky was blue, the sun was bright and warm, and the future seemed amazing.
Traffic wasn’t bad either, as I left Highway 101 and I-280 behind me and headed west toward home on highway 92. For that day, I put in Bush, Sixteen Stone, and selected “Comedown” (1995).
Here are the lyrics that drew me that day:
‘Cause I don’t wanna come back down from this cloud
It’s taken me all this time to find out what I need
I don’t wanna come back down from this cloud
It’s taken me all this all this time
(BTW, I wanted to indent the lyrics to call them out, but can’t find the indent on this new, cumbersome, tedious, loaded WP editor. This is supposed to be a quick post; I don’t want to spend a lot of time searching through blocks and patterns, widgets and menus to find what used to be a simple matter. And where is the help? Oh, let me look for that.)
Don’t have a specific reason for this song in my head today. Just awoke to that beginning from the song. Maybe it was a dream thing, or a writing thing, or my generally foolish, optimistic nature.
But that’s today’s music.
So much happened in dreams last night. Putting it all together…well, I probably failed that. But, here goes.
My wife and I were in a new car, a small vehicle, made of gold. I was driving, and the car pleased me. I was very happy with my new acquisition.
My wife was in the passenger seat and there were two people in the back. We were going through a tunnel, perhaps exiting a parking complex. She told me that I’d missed the turn. I couldn’t turn the car around, so I backed up. Not able to see where I was going, I hit a support pillar with the car. This upset me, but we kept going. When I finally parked, I checked the bumper for damage. There was none.
After parking, my wife and a friend were going shopping. I decided to check into a hotel. But first, I spoke with Jerry.
I haven’t seen Jerry since 1977. We were stationed together at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Smoking a cigarette (as he often did back then), he was laughing and talking about how he’d changed. “I used to be a survivalist. You wouldn’t believe the stuff that I had.”
Laughing, I said, “I find that hard to believe, knowing you.”
Dead serious, he replied, “You don’t know me. You think you do, but you don’t.”
I went into my hotel room, got into bed and went to sleep. A while later, noises in the room awoke me. It was Jerry’s wife. She said, “Hey, do you need anything, baby?”
I said, “I need you. Get into bed with me.”
She said, “No.”
Shrugging, I sat up in bed. Her long dark hair was now a short bob. Looking right, I saw a pile of hair on the floor. “Have you been in here cutting your hair?”
“While I was sleeping?”
My wife rushed through the room. I realized that she was going shopping again.
I dressed and hurried to work. When I arrived, I found hundreds of people milling around, waiting for something to start. The man in charge gave me several lists. “There are forty possibilities in here. You need to match them up from the different sources so that we have the information we need.”
Looking at the lists, I saw that many were printouts, but some were newspaper articles. Some had circles in red markers, but others were highlighted in orange. Another man came up to help me.
“Can you do it?” the man in charge asked.
“Yes.” I was confident that I could. He left, and I got busy. It soon became apparent that the information was more difficult to sort and mass than I realized. He expected results for forty but there were hundreds or thousands of possibilities. I struggled with finding a scalable way to do it.
The man with me said, “It can’t be done.”
“Yes, it can,” I replied.
The man in charge came up. “How’s it coming? Are you almost done?”
“No,” my helper said. “Far from it. I don’t think it can be done.” He and the man in charge argued.
I said, “I can do it. Give me time and space.”
The man in charge said, “Okay, we’re counting on you.”
End of dreams.
I’m watching Hulu. I don’t pay to be advert free. The same commercials are often played. The one in play now is a Carl’s Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Breathe in the bacon, breathe out the bacon, is the basic play, while showing a cheeseburger close up. All I can think of when I watch it is, fifteen hundred mg of sodium (65% RDA), 34 grams of fat, 740 calories, and fifteen grams of sugar. Have some soda and fries with that.
Yeah, I’m fucking old, thinking about health over flavor and judging people who make that stuff, and the ones who eat it.
Hey, come on in. Grab a drink. The party is just gettin’ started.
Yeah, I know the reality. This is make believe. We’re pretending all the restrictions have been lifted. A vaccine has been found. Testing is readily available. We rallied and rescued ourselves (with help from the world). And we helped others survive.
Now we’re entering recovery mode. A new prez is in the White House. Toilet paper is available. Gas is cheap, and restaurants and bars are open for business. We’re doing a little freedom party. We’re steppin’ out. So grab a drink (or pretend to drink one). It’s a virtual bar full of virtually everything, and it’s party PM.
In honor of all that, the song that came on for the start of this party is an old fan fave (yeah, I’m the fan). It always gets me movin’, putting a grin in my mood and jacking my spirits up.
Here’s “Gimme Some Lovin'” by The Spencer Davis Group from 1966. I’m so glad you made it.
Now, for the helluvait, another party fave: Prince, “1999” (1982). Cheers