Monday, August 12, 2002

On the drive home from work, I pressed scan on the radio and came across this song (that's a midi version) on whatever soft rock station it was. Maybe Sunny 99.1 or perhaps it was the 80's station, 106.9 The Point... That doesn't matter...

Faithfully by Journey came on, and you know how songs remind you of something, some memory that's been buried in the back of your head? Well, hearing this song opened the flood gates...

Look over there, push past the mist and you'll see a roller skating rink on the outskirts of a small Louisiana town. As you approach the door, you can hear the music playing - a mix of early 80's hip hop, some glam rock and Aerosmith's career revival known as Run DMC. You pay the money to enter and get your skates.

To the right, there are some lockers for your stuff and along the wall various video games - pacman, ms. pacman, 2 pool tables, an air hockey game and a few others. To the left, the concession stand. You can smell the overcooked hot dogs and burnt chili and you know that water is thicker than the nacho cheese. In front of you, the disco-lit stage of the roller rink.

You find your friends and park yourself next to them on a bench near the slick wooden surface. While strapping your roller skates on, your friends make for the rink and you catch a glimpse of the girl or guy you've had a huge crush on. You smile at them and they smile back.

Playing it cool, you head off to race around with your friends. For the first lap or two, you take it easy getting used to the familar wheels and motions again. Soon, you're skating backwards and lapping your buddies, comfortable once again in your groovy, discotheque-on-wheels world.

Then, the song ends and the DJ says the next song is for couples only. Your heart racing, your eye catches your crush's. Rushing, but not hurrying, you roll up to your early teen infatuation and ask them if they want to dance.

As the first notes of Faithfully drift out of the speakers, you take your partner's hand in yours and skate together counterclock-wise, happy you found each other. Happy you're one of the chosen. One of the chosen to have someone to skate with during worst 5 minutes to be all alone.

Together, hand in hand, you circle the floor. Steve Perry serenading the both of you. You look in each other's eyes and know that you both are indeed forever yours...faithfully. Perhaps you even give each other a quick kiss.

So enraptured in this moment of saccarine teenage love bliss, you barely register me somewhere in the background, probably playing that damn Journey video game...

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