Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Summer Of Love

Once I found a bunch of notes written by a pregnant teenager in a used copy of The White Album (and yes, the copy was an actual album) that I purchased a record store called Forever Young. The notes detailed the tortured relationship that the girl had with the father of her unborn child -- she alternated listening to Dear Prudence and Helter Skelter as ways of feeling close to him. This was her only way as he'd taken off a few weeks before; he was MIA and despite her desperate pleas for his return, I'm guessing he stayed that way. I can't find the notes anymore, another casualty in a long list of things that I vowed to keep and didn't. Yet I can still see the girlish handwriting that crowded the notepaper and the date at the corner, June 15, 1967, the year my parents got married, the summer of love.

I could imagine her summer -- the summer of the consequences of love. Nonetheless, I envied her given that I was in the 80s, a decade that I then loathed and now feel the warm glow of nostalgia for, no surprise there. But all I could see at the time, was that all my values were tied up in the two decades -- feminism had all but died, money was a god, and Reagan was in office. I had been the one fifth grader who voted for Mondale in the mock election at my school -- my teacher said, 29 for Reagan and Michelle for Mondale. AIDS had already started its grim trajectory. We had birth control and legalized abortion, but the summer of free love, for all intents and purposes, was over. I hung on to my unknown friend's notes as a witness for a different time, but almost everything gets lost over time no matter how hard we try to be careful.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle." Apocalypse Now

Cocktail Hour
Drinking documentary suggestion: Wild Man Blues

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Independence Day!


the walking man said...

It seems the harder we try to be careful the easier things are to lose.

Charles Gramlich said...

The "consequences of Love." So true.

Tim said...

So true about losing things we want to hold on to. Perhaps especially true for feelings we have at a certain time in our lives when we think things are the best they've ever been and will last forever.

Happy Fourth Michelle!
By the way, if you're going to be a lifeguard again and that's your suit then I'm going to the pool more often. :)

paul said...


miller580 said...

"but almost everything gets lost over time no matter how hard we try to be careful."

So true and I think you can include everyone. almost everyone gets lost over time...

eric313 said...

At least you have her notes in your heart.

And I too was one of two in my third grade class to vote Mondale.

And Dukakis, four years later, even though he was a tank ridding dolt who couldn't stay out of conservative crosshairs.

Love the post.