Dancing in the district
It was the kind of night that every nostalgic movie is required to include; somewhere between the fair scene in The Notebook and nearly every episode of The Wonder Years. I was at an event in downtown Nashville called Dancing in the District. Like all of those characters we know I was probably seventeen and thought for sure I had found the love of my life. My whole life was ahead of me and my head was full of dreams that I was young enough to not have any idea that sometimes dreams don’t come true.
It was late summer and we were all about to head off to college. Tonic, a rock band that was the voice of every seventeen year old that thought he had found the love of his life, was on stage. A warm breeze was blowing off the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville and it seemed like every one of the five hundred people I went to high school with was there that night.
Twenty years on, I can’t help but go back there every time Tonic plays on the radio; if I’m honest it usually just takes a warm breeze off of a body of water. I went back there the other day on my way to work when I passed a creek with the windows down.
It’s funny what one night the summer after graduation can mean. Nothing significant happened that night. Memories are funny that way; who knows why some stick and others don’t. It seems like it’s just random, but surely that can’t be the case. Maybe it’s just that the small little things in life have a bigger impact than we realize.
Maybe it’s the memory of a broken heart that left enough cracks for true love to seep in years later; maybe it’s one of the last nights before adult life took off that keeps the teenagers in us alive.
Or maybe a good band on a nice night is just too hard to forget.