John is in the basement listening to a bunch of old records he recently acquired. Every time the needle is placed down on another song, memories flood my mind.
Tom Petty. Pink Floyd. ELO. Rainbow. The Godspell Soundtrack.
I’m spending the day time-traveling, visiting old friends in my mind. I’m there, with them, and they have no idea I’m thinking of them today.
I’m upstairs cleaning the house with the windows open, singing along to songs I haven’t heard in years. The memories and the music inexorably tied together.
The vacuum drowns out the sound for a while, but the visions keep coming.
When Shannon was in the second or third grade she had a friend over. They were working on a project together.
When the friend’s mom came to pick her up, the girls were very involved in a Barbie drama, and they didn’t want to end their story in media res.
So I invited the mom in for a while. We sat at the dining room table, drinking coffee while the girls wrapped up their epic.
As we were sitting there I noticed that there was a cobweb under the pantry cabinet. There were some sort of crumbs in it. I guess I had forgotten to make a pass under the kick-plate when I vacuumed.
As we sat and sipped, my eyes kept traveling back to the cobweb. How long had it been there? Was it a spiderweb? Or just dust? I’ll have to clean it up when she leaves.
That girl is no longer in any of Shannon’s classes. They never spend time together, and I never see her mom. But every time I pass the broom or the vacuum under the kick-plate I think of that day. And I think of her. She has no idea.
I don’t remember what we talked about, but I do remember that the conversation was easy and free, and we laughed and sighed. And I remember that dusty clump of cobweb.
It’s funny what the dust stirs up. And Tom Petty. And Rainbow. And Godspell.