Where I match a song to a specific memory.
My first job was in a tiny restaurant where they served good food and lots of it. I worked Saturdays, alternating waiting tables with washing dishes. My companion in work was a boy my own age, S. We were acquaintances, people with things in common who never really became close friends, though I liked him. He was smart and funny and a good conversationalist. In fact, at the end of high school, I surveyed the scene and decided that of all our classmates, he would be the one I would marry, if I had to marry someone. Partway through our acquaintance on the job, he decided to reject who he had been and he foraged a new self, changing his name, quitting wrestling, getting rid of the music he was leaving behind. Instead, he starting going by his middle name K., focused more on the art he created and he pledged his musical troth to Mudhoney and other bands we were then calling “Alt.” To me, the reinvention seemed unnecessary, as he seemed the same as he ever was, but he said things were much better this way. His devotion to his new alternative way of life was so complete I was surprised one day that he commented how much he liked Van Morrison’s song “Brown Eyed Girl.” The song was played in heavy rotation at the time, thanks to being featured in movies and it was impossible to escape if the radio was set to the oldies station–they played it seemingly ever hour. It seemed so run-of-the-mill for my very unique coworker that I forever linked the two of them together.