I can't remember people's names,
I can't remember my seven times tables,
I can't remember where I put the scissors, and I can barely piece together what I did yesterday, but I have clear moments etched in my brain with a sound track provided by the radio.
Sitting in the cold truck before school waiting for my sister, "sometimes the snow comes down in June, sometimes the sun goes round the moon".
I watch my breath fog the truck window.
Sitting in the front window display peeling wallpaper off the wall at my mother's paint shop. She prepares the sunflower border to hang in it's place. "Jimmy Rogers on the victrola up high, mama's dancing with the baby on her shoulder, sun is setting like molasses in the sky". Pieces of wallpaper backing stick under my nails as I scrape it from the wall.
Blanket over my head, reading lamp tucked under the sheet, I'm up past 1am reading again. I turn the dial to discover 640 AND 680 playing "I would walk 500 miles" at the same time.
My friend Tina and I spend 4 hours one afternoon trying to call into a radio station to dedicate a song to my neighbour. Because obviously that little Rockstar boy is waiting to hear Mr.Big's "to be with you".
We eat a lot of chips.
My nose is resting on the top shelf of my bookcase. I'm leaning poised to push the button on my tape deck at the exact second the dj is going to stop talking. I sush my sister while she plays with her hamster. I don't know how to turn off the internal mic on my ghetto blaster so we have to be quiet or I'm going to have to wait till tomorrow's top 6 at 6.
"Oh my god Becky, look at her butt. It looks like one of those rap star's girlfriend's".
I pop the tabs on the top of the cassette when I'm finished so I don't accidentally tape over it.
Today one of my favourite finds at the Blue Box or at a yard sale is the home made mix tape. I have bags of them now. I keep a bag behind the seat of my car and let myself take one out each week. I love the quirky mixes, taped from the top 20 count downs, ones with the end of a dj's intro cutting into the song.
Tapes that don't quite fit that whole last version of Paula Abdul's "one step forward, two steps back".
Each song comes on and I'm transported to a moment in my past.
Days and days of memories from each little song.