Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Friday Night it was late…

Music can transcend time and place. It can make us feel more than we ever thought we could. It can make us laugh, make us cry, and every host of emotion in between. For me there are some songs that speak to me about a time and place even though I never heard the song while having the time/place experience. It’s just that sometimes the words are so evocative of something I’ve lived that the song takes me there. Today’s first track meets those criteria.

I’m talkin’ about a lifetime plan…

Years ago, long before Matt and I were an official couple we used to get together randomly for weekends in either New York or in Boston. I like to tell people we were pseudo dating for the three years before we decided to make the leap into a defined relationship. Before that we were just “friends” but our nomadic personalities were so perfectly matched there was no chance we weren’t going to be together…eventually.

Hurry don’t be late…

I was a traveler back then too. These were the days before 9/11 when I could pack up a tiny overnight bag and fly down to North Carolina for a weekend leaving only thirty minutes before a flight to get through security and get on the plane. If I left work at lunchtime on a Friday I’d be in Raleigh by dinnertime, have a whole weekend to chill, and be home before the clock struck ten on Sunday night.

I can hardly wait…

When I went to see Matt in New York it was the same story with my drop-of-a-hat travel enthusiasm except most of the time I jumped on Amtrak to get there since it was cheaper and easier than flying.

A couple times I took the train all the way to New York and Matt met me somewhere either on Long Island or otherwise but the majority of the time we met somewhere in the middle. And that somewhere was New London, Connecticut. About halfway (give or take) for both of us to travel it was the perfect spot to meet up. Not to mention it was always far less crowded and insane than the New York train stops.

The only thing with New London is that it is a popular launching point for other places that travelers can get to via ferry, train, or car so the town is full of people in transition.

Once I was headed out to Fisher’s Island to visit the vacation home of my sister’s then serious boyfriend and I took the train into New London to connect with the Fisher’s ferry. Matt took another ferry out to New London from The City to meet me for dinner before I hopped on my ferry to Fisher’s. I tried desperately to convince him to call in sick the next day and come over with me but he said he couldn’t. Instead we just got some food and hung out for a while.

I said to myself ‘when we’re old’…

The town didn’t have too many options back then for places to eat but we both loved Thai food so we ambled on into Bangkok City, the restaurant choice on State Street. It wasn’t anything too fancy – dated carpet and furniture with lots of kitschy “western friendly” décor – but we were hungry and there were hours before either of our boats departed. I got the Tom Ka Kai and Matt got a beef satay for our appetizers. The food was delicious otherwise I never would have remembered what either of us had because we didn’t stop yapping each other’s ear off all afternoon.

Who knows what we talked about. It didn’t matter. We were spending some time together, in each other’s space and smile. We were figuring out that we were falling in love.

We’ll go dancin’ in the dark, walkin’ through the park…

After our meal we decided to walk off some calories and I wanted to smoke a little weed before getting on the ferry. So we headed up the block to the corner of Union where there was a small park with a couple of benches. After the short walk there we plunked down on the park bench and continued to talk like no words would ever be enough.

After a short while and a couple hits from my pipe, the Fisher’s ferry was in dock and ready for passengers. But we weren’t done talking. We weren’t done spending time together even though the schedule was telling us we had to be. There was family waiting for me on the other side and I was very likely in roaming mode on my cell phone back then so there was no way to call and cancel. Matt and I hugged our goodbyes and both took the correct ferry to our individual destinations.

But we weren’t done. Not by a long shot.

Not too long after that we officially got together, engaged, and married. For the first handful of years after we got married we made a special point to go back to New London, sans train and sans pot, every year on our anniversary to have a fantastic Thai meal at our favorite little spot. It was still the perfect place for conversation…

And reminiscing…

May’s Month of Music
Reminiscing – Little River Band (iTunes first track)

10 comments:

JudisJems said...

How perfect!

And now that song is stuck in my head - thank you; turn about is fair play for "Tom's Diner" I guess (do do do do, do do do do, etc.)

Love you, Mum

Almost Precious said...

Music is a powerful juju. Everytime I hear "Summer Breeze" it evokes a vivid memory of my being in front of a friend's house in Miami. Air humid and heavy with the scent of a Confederate Jasmine vine that covered the white picket fence that bordered her front yard. Bright, hot sun shining, sky crystal clear and as blue as a robin's egg. The image is as real and as sharp as a Polaroid photograph. Yet that moment in time held no special meaning, no special occasion. Perhaps the imagery is so deeply impressed because so many of my senses were involved - the music wafting from a car radio, the smell of the fragrant jasmine, the heat of the sun, the dazzling blue sky ?

Launna said...

This is beautiful Jenn, I love how you and Matt became a couple and married.... so sweet;)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yeah sorry about that but it was really stuck in mine too so it seemed appropriate for the post today :-)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Isn't it funny how some songs resonate with such strong memories? I bet your senses working overtime had everything to do with it! Sounds like a great opening to a book...

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks Launna :-) We didn't have the traditional whirlwind romance or anything like that but we definitely spent years building our foundation before we even admitted to being a couple!

Suldog said...

So, when is one of the big anniversaries coming (5th, 10th, 15th, etc.) and will you be going to New London to your restaurant?

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

We're 11 years this year Jim, which is actually a bigger deal to me than the traditional milestone years (11 is a significant number to me) so its a biggie this September! Wish we could afford to get back to New London this year!

Jak Cryton said...

Hmm... I've been sitting here trying to contemplate when I've most likely had this happen, but am drawing a blank.

I have music that inspires things in my writing, and then each time I hear said song I think of that "scene" or "instance" I've associated with it. In fact, it's hard to overwrite my association with songs once I've assigned them to something.

I have music that I remember during a specific time frame, but it is then directly associated with it, so that isn't quite the same.

Some music will remind me of someone (likely lyrically based) and then I can have some memories surge then. That is probably the closest I can think of at the moment.

That is an awesomely beautiful falling in love tale you have. I am curious have you ever specifically written about it?

Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Oh goodness I'm not sure I could write our story in anything more than the depth in this article. I'm not really a squishy/romantic type person most of the time and I wouldn't want to water it down because of my "guy-esque" mindset lol. Maybe someday though, who knows!

Yeah there are very few songs this can happen with - Brad Paisley's "Letter to Me" and DMB "Stay (Wasting Time)" are two other examples. I certainly don't own any Playboy mags like Paisley sings about and I never went to a single pep rally but I get the message behind the song that no matter what you have going on at 17 your life will change and the drama will subside so you can make it through to look back. I seriously cry every time I hear the song because its just such a powerful message. And with Dave its more about embracing every freewheelin' moment I ever had when there was nothing more than summer heat and someone to love. Its like I'm there inside the song living my summer days.

Maybe this means I'm a little off but that's ok, I own it lol.