Today was a hot one, sticky and varnished with humid sweat. It just sits here in the South baffled at the idea of you being upright and productive. It all settled down when it dumped buckets as my parents and I rode down the road from North Carolina on highway 25 and little droplets started plopping down on the windshield. We rode in a minivan that my dad is planning to sell and it just reminded me of all the years I use to sit shot gun in Jodie’s minivan as we all noodled through each lane in the highway and my stomach would drop quickly from us sailing down a hill. I remember Jodie’s long, black, curly hair and her cackle. I remember when I fell down off the side of a concrete wall all from a dog wrapping his leash around my legs, tripping me up and how quickly she pulled me into her van and ripped open the glove compartment shoving brown, old napkins into my bloody hands all while telling me I was okay. I remembered the rain falling on the windshield and how I didn’t think I was ever gonna forget this moment. The rain started to pummel my Dad’s van by the time we got back into town. My Mom decided that since it is basically monsoon season over here that she would go throw around a bag of castor oil mixed with “botanical” ingredients into the lawn because of the moles and/or voles that have been wrecking our garden. They love sunflowers. She grabbed an umbrella and I pulled on my rain jacket. She dug white plastic cups in the bag of ingredients and we ran outside. The rain blew and we were drenched at the end of our battle amongst the voles/moles. I remember looking up at our fig tree toss and dance with itself in the monsoon-ish storm and thinking I wish I could capture this moment. Possibly stay in it. The rain was soaking my dress and naked legs but I could’ve stayed for quite a while.
After my shower I made a plate of hors d’oeuvres, i.e. pimento cheese and crackers and instead of reading like the good student that I am I watched Almost Famous. I watched it and the rain hailed on my window. It blustered and shook its fist and hollered. I wanted to cry watching this film, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t because I was too busy smiling. Here’s what I texted to a friend immediately after finishing the film: It just makes me want to be more honest with myself and others. Like it was such a good movie. There were parts of it (since it was set in the 70’s) that made me oddly nostalgic over my first year at school- like the classes and the feelings I got from watching a really good movie and it just transported me… It was a coming of age flick, and coming of age flicks make me warm and fuzzy anyway.It made me nostalgic over a period of time where I learned a lot about myself. It was a period of time where I learned a lot about humanity. I remember walking into my first class in college and sitting next to Emma, Sam, and… well, I honestly don’t remember the other dude’s name but that doesn’t matter. Emma was my Penny Lane and Sam was my Russell Hammond. Granted, they didn’t sleep together but they were my protagonist and antagonist and I could feel life about to Van Halen high kick it into gear. The rain soon slowed to a plip plop and gave up, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about Harold and Maude and anything Francoise Sagan related and the weird French teacher we had who loved to center his lectures on the idea of La petite mort. College was a trip– and I don’t care what feelings you might have against antagonists- or your friends mom’s- or old friends who you no longer talk to, but they move the story along. They get the real blood moving. They make the odd, fascinating, crappy things that seem to show up in life go forth. They can suck, and I mean they can really suck but if you’re lucky and you get to reminisce about the path you walked down then you see that person and you think life would’ve been a lot more boring had it not been for them.
The rain has stopped now and I’m sitting here listening to the Almost Famous soundtrack thinking that it all comes down to this: I’m super thankful God has given me all the memories I’ve lived through. Frankly, I’m thankful for being able to remember and to imagine and enjoy movies and rain. I’m just thankful for God.