Careless Whisper has come on the radio and suddenly, I am transported back in time to the summer of 1985. Jamie and I spent most of that summer between DFW Medical Center, where we striped candy, White Water waterpark, and Six Flags Over Texas, where we spent godawful amounts of money, pumping quarters into the video-jukeboxes at the park. That was the only place we could watch our Duran Duran videos on demand. And, oh, were we demanding. We were fourteen. That was our job.
As I recall, we liked Wham!, but we had a loyalty to uphold, and since Sirs Michael and Ridgely were our preferred band’s main competition, we didn’t carry their pinups in our Trapper Keepers.
I was headed into my Freshman year of high school, hopping from Adams Middle School (where I had made friends of Francine, Becky, Danna, and finally Karen–all of whom are still at least Facebook buddies. Francine and Karen would eventually become my roommates, and still like me even after living with me! Maybe not immediately after, but eventually, and currently. I think.) to Ursuline Academy. Since moving to Texas, halfway through fifth grade, I had already been to three schools. I would attend two more before graduation.
That summer of 1985 was the best summer of my childhood. I only remember being happy that summer. No. I remember being happy and having a pair of bright yellow shorts that I thought were the coolest things ever made.
The second best summer was the summer of 1988. I was 17, had my own car, a boyfriend (or three, but that summer I mainly saw Robert–who busked in the mall for me, to collect the additional $3 I needed to buy a CD.), and Francine was living with us. Where was I working? I think that’s the summer I worked at Denny’s. That summer, my song was Lita Ford’s song, It Ain’t No Big Thing.
My first taxable summer job was at Six Flags Over Texas. That was the summer of 1987, and Notorious was my theme song. Then, I got a job at Denny’s. From Denny’s (while I was obsessed with The Smiths, having a fling with The Cure, and cheating on Duran Duran with U2), I went to work at Express (Berlin was my musical fixation, and John Crawford surpassed my crush on John Taylor), and then to Sears (was listening to Then Jericho at that point, and was in love with Mark Wren.) Then, when I started college, I decided I needed a more professional gig, and I got a bank job (and started listening to a lot of The The, Nine Inch Nails, and Billie Holiday.)
Don’t Stop Believin’ has come on now. The very first concert I ever attended (without a parent) was to Journey cover band’s show at the middle school (the second was a Duran Duran show at Six Flags, the summer I worked there. I remember being alternately scandalized and strangely nervous a/k/a titillated that I could see the outline of Simon LeBon’s underwear through his white pants. Byron and I convinced the poor morons sitting behind us that we were with the band, and were just slumming it out in the audience for goofs. Then, Byron got a nosebleed and we had to jet.) At the Faux Journey Sheaux I sat in the bleachers with Francine and Becky, and that’s the night my friendship with them gelled. I remember discussing the merits of Matt Dillon, who was then my number one imaginary celebrity boyfriend. He would be replaced by John Taylor in the coming year, who would maintain his status until I discovered Rupert Everett. Me? Have a type? Possibly.
It seems like I have a strong memory attached to every song that comes on the radio, but I’ll spare you until Ordinary World comes on. Then, I’ll regale you with more stories from my first trip to NYC and the David Lynchian twists of that time.