Here’s the second of my Story From A Song series – can you figure out which popular song I’ve based this particular piece on? (Remember, there are embellishments and details here that the song didn’t feature – otherwise it wouldn’t really work as a story.) Make your guesses!
I remember that long, hot summer. It was just you and me, then. Well, you, me and the band. That was all I needed. I remember thinking that band would set the world on fire.
Yeah, me, Jimmy and Jody tried. We tried real hard. Jimmy on bass, Jody on drums, me on my six-string. I loved that thing. I played it till my fingers bled. Remember when I went to meet you on your momma’s porch and got my blood all over her freshly painted woodwork? What a commotion that woman caused. She chased me down the street with her broom! I sure played a bit more carefully after that. I miss that six-string. Never had another guitar like it.
Those were great days, even though we only ever played to the old drunks down at the local bar. Yet I was stone cold certain we were going to make it, that one day some hotshot music manager would just stroll in mid-gig and sign us right up. It never happened, though. Then Jimmy quit for that plumbing job, and Jody got married to Doris, that girl with the lazy eye. Anyway, that was the band done. Really, I don’t think either of them were that committed. Looking back, I should’ve known we’d never get far.
But at least I still had you. Or I did then. Now all I’ve got is some old photos of you, the ones I took on our nights out at the drive-in theatre. I remember we went to see Easy Rider there. Man, what a film that was.
Sometimes I look at these photos and wonder what went wrong. You told me it would last forever. You promised. I still think about that promise. I wonder if you do. I wonder if you’re still shacked up with that guy, Mike, with his button-down collars and slicked-back hair and big nose and bigger wallet. I dunno. I shouldn’t obsess. I shouldn’t be bitter. That summer was over forty years ago. You’ve probably moved on since then. I know I should have. But back then I was young and killing time, and I thought everything would always stay the same. Then the seventies came along, and times changed and you left and things started going sour for me. And they never really got better. So now I live here, old and alone, in this dark little flat with only the damp and my memories for company. I don’t go out much. I don’t really see anyone. Instead just I sit here, and I think about that summer. That summer when the world lay at my feet.
Those were the best days of my life.