Monday, April 23, 2012

The greatest shade of yellow.



I woke up the other morning after having the most magnificent dream. I had gone through a strange journey through my hometown at sunset, with every building and field reflecting the most beautiful golden light; a light that is at its most brilliant in the middle of summer in the prairies. I could practically feel the warmth of the setting sun against my skin as I floated down the gravel roads, staring at the old familiar houses. A few new buildings, townhouses of some kind, replaced some of the structures I remembered, and I felt sad at the idea of this town changing, moving further out of my reach and out of my memory. Despite this, I felt calmed by the bright red and yellow hues of the whole scene, and when I awoke I was relaxed, nostalgic, and content.

I very rarely dream of where I grew up. The handful of kids I went to elementary, middle school, and subsequently high school with occasionally appear in my sleep, but the town itself is but an abstraction. Since moving over ten years ago I have not returned very often, every few weekends the first year I moved away and less frequently every year after that. By the time my parents had retired and moved out of the town in 2009 I had not been back in several years, visiting only for a final send-off as my parents packed up their belongings and moved out of the little green and white house that would never be my home again.



I had my first kiss in the brush behind those trees during a game of truth, dare, double dare.


As kids we once found a gross used condom on the sand near these swings.


Bargains & Deals used to be a gas station/video rental/convenience store. It was located just behind my house and in the summer I would often walk over with a few coins to buy a handful of puffy pink marshmallows.


This was the view from our living room window.






Sunday, April 8, 2012

16 years later, still dirty.



This weekend I attended a surprise birthday party on a boat. As the sun set, countless glasses of vodka soda and gin and tonic were consumed and the dance floor was bustling. And, without fail, as soon as the crowd heard the opening notes of Ginuwine's Pony (1996), things got dirty.

In high school the song was appropriately crude. It was brash and certainly not sweet, a quality that was appealing to jerk teenagers in need of some messy makeouts. By university, it was hot. I wish I could say it was sexy but looking back at those Friday nights spent at disgusting dance clubs I can only remember being sweaty and reckless with my body, in the way that people in their early twenties are prone to be. There was nothing sensual about your clothes smelling like cigarettes and grinding.

So what is the song now, years later, at a thirtieth birthday party? Does it feel risque? Is it dated and dare I say, tame? I am happy (?) to report that after all these years the song is, unsurprisingly, still dirty. The dozens of thirty-something hips gesturing towards each other proved this. But maybe it finally felt a bit sexier this time around. Maybe it was the yacht and the full moon. Or maybe it was the absence of body issues and poor decisions.

ps.
I had to listen to this song 4 times during the writing of this post, you know, to get into the mood.