Twenty-five years from now your smart-ass kid and some of his friends think it would be, like, so fun to stage a production in the garage. Maybe it’s your birthday, so it’s sweet, really. They raid your closet and pull out the stuff you don’t remember that you had. They piece together a summer of your life based on re-re-reuns of MTV Spring Break. They decorate with leftover 4th of July decorations and back it all with the mix tapes you just couldn’t bare to throw out. For some inexplicable reason, they take a particular shine to the country mix that was given to you by that one guy. You only listened to it once, you swear. They sneak a couple beers, belt ‘em back, and belt ‘em out.
You watch the show. Hell, you’ve had a few yourself. You can’t say that you approve of the dry-humping but it’s the 32’s and you’re a modern mom. Nostalgia hits you like a brick in the face. You selectively forget that you never actually went anywhere good on spring break. You sincerely hope that your kid and his smart-ass friends recognize that Jackson 5 was WAY before your time. You remember camping, pie, and the 4th of July. You suddenly think that patriotism is kind of a cheap shot and maybe Freedom is about bragging rights. You wonder if you’d enjoy the show more if you knew all the words. You wonder what that country-mix-tape-making guy would think of the performance. Would he pledge allegiance and sing along? Would he recognize the irony of a bunch of smart-ass kids temporarily angry about never which song to sing next. Ain’t that America?
It all seems like a big disaster and for some reason that makes it better. For you anyway, and not cause it’s your kid up there doing something for you. You think that someone else with a different set of memories and ideas would just see the disaster. Or just like the music. Something starts to make some sort of sense. It ends and you clap. You were not expecting to find anything buried in a pile of your old clothes and stack of tapes, but there it was. So big that you are going to have to think about it more. Later. Your kid leaves the mess for you to clean up. Happy birthday to you. Ain’t it funny how the night moves?
Shit, now you are going to have that song in your head for days.