I was in the check-out line of my neighborhood grocery/bodega last evening, when "Build Me Up, Buttercup" started up over the store's Muzak (or whatever) system. This store, smack in the heart of Spanish Harlem, plays a mix of Latin and Old Top 40 stuff, even though nothing but Spanish (language) is swirling around me.
Now, "Build Me Up, Buttercup" came out in winter of my senior year in high school. Music does tend to tug at things long-buried. So, I have all the "then" memories whenever I hear the song: school talent shows, the big senior therm paper, Senior Prom, club retreats, Awards Day, planning for college, etc. But last night I heard the song in the "now." "Now" means a shopping in a largely Spanish-speaking area of New York City, living in a small, but cozy apartment, working in Midtown Manhattan, the subway, and Central Park. A million light years away from Chattanooga, Tennessee, City High School, and Clairol Hot Rollers.
This happens to me all the time. I'll hear an old song, remembering where and what I was when it became embedded in my heart and soul, then look around at the very different place and time of my life today. I just smile and shake my head. Never in my wildest dream would I have imagined it.
Does this happen to you? You hear a song that brings back memories, then look around at where your standing today? A very interesting juxtaposition, me thinks.