The man rolls over in bed and gropes in the darkness for the radio alarm. His fingers search for the snooze button, and finding it, gives it a firm push. Rolling on his back, the man closes his eyes, slides into a slumbered twilight but fears falling back to sleep entirely. Into his mind seep the largely mundane tasks that await him for the day, meetings, shopping, commuting, dressing etc. The man raises his arms above his head, as far as his weary body will permit. Uttering a deep sigh, he pushes his feet downward as far as they can go. Then it happened! The allotted snooze time expired…the radio came back on….playing THAT song! The man hadn’t heard THAT song in quite a while. Yet, it was as if he had been hearing the tune constantly. Ever since she left.
Upon hearing the first few note of THAT song, the chamber in the man’s mind’s eye that he thought had been sealed, burst open. The man stared at the ceiling in the darkness as the memories of that time flooded every crevice of his mind. His breathing became more rapid. Not hazy, dim confused memories. These were vivid, bright exact memories filled with intense color. Events that took place long ago reemerged as if they occurred hours ago! Words, gestures, actions, body language that framed an all to short portion of the man’s life came roaring to the surface of the man’s mind, brutally suppressing the mundane thoughts of just a few seconds ago!
And at the very center of it all, the laughter, the tears, the fun, the sadness, the specific events that resulted in life, was the woman! Her smile, her walk, her glances, her voice, her clothing, her smell, her kisses…. they were all right there in the darkness of the man’s room. At first, the man was angry. Although he would think of her occasionally, those thoughts would, for the most part , be fleeting and intermingled with some many other images that crowded the man’s mind. If the man began to feel that thoughts of her were crossing the line, becoming too intense, fighting for additional room in the man’s mind, he could control the extent of the “damage” by quickly reverting to something less emotional; sports, his job, the train schedule.
However, THAT song deprived the man of being able to exercise any control. It completely took over. The lyrics drove a stake in the man’s heart. The music swept him away to another time and place. The man saw the woman! He heard her laugh! He saw the clothing she wore; he saw the places they went together. He remembered the times the laughed so hard together that they both had tears in their eyes. He saw her happy tears roll down her cheeks.
Then his mind suddenly became a bit darker. What happened? Why did she leave? Why did she break his heart? Did he drive her away? She meant so much to him, in so many different ways. He thought about the times when she gave him so much confidence that he thought anything was possible! He remembered the times she was able to comfort him in times of trouble and insecurity. He remembered how her words were able to lift his self-esteem. She had changed his life irrevocably. He tried to do all of those things for her. He thought he was succeeding, that he was conscious of her emotional needs and was trying to help in satisfying those. What happened? How did he fail? What could he have done differently? What actions did he fail to take, what words did he fail to impart that would have made her stay.
The man suddenly realized that the radio was playing another song and that it was getting late, he had better start getting dressed for work. As he dragged himself into the bathroom, he looked at himself in the mirror. The man wondered how the woman was doing. The man wondered where the woman was living. The man began brushing his teeth and reflected on his own life. The man became a bit angry with himself. The man started to feel guilty for not appreciating his current life. The man began to check off all of the things he had, wife, children, good job, nice house, faithful friends, in short a respectable existence.
Then it began again. THAT song was playing in the man’s mind. Thoughts and images came flooding back. As the man was getting dressed, an intense emotional struggle was taking place. A medley of feelings poured into the man’s psyche. The man realized, as he realized in the past when this exact same thing happened, that it was over. The man accepted the reality of his situation. That special time was over. The woman was long gone. His life was good. The man understood that the foundation of the many positive things he had achieved was put in place by the woman during that brief special time. The woman had been such a favorable influence in the man’s life that he couldn’t even express himself. The man thought, oh well, life is crazy, better catch the train.
On his way out the door, in his mind, the man heard a lyric from THAT song “…help dissolve the memories. But they can never be what she was to me.”