What if?: Remember

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Remember

[This is my first post to What If... It's short, but hey, it's a start. I need to thank Leesa for turning me on to the site. She's an inspiration.]

The first time I heard “Remember” by Harry Nilsson, I was sitting in the back seat of my mom’s car on my way to grandma’s house.

Being only ten years old at the time, I really didn’t have a lot of heavy memories to recall. Sure I could remember last years baseball season, my first to play on a real little league team. My bumbling awkwardness when I first started out. I could field the ball but I was no where near able to hit it like the other guys. I remembered the smell of the dirt at second base as I learned how to slide.

At ten I could still recall playing on the playground back when I was in first grade. The steel jungle-gym and the soft rubber matting underneath. The feel of the metal, smooth and hot on a Nevada summer day. The breeze coming off the desert was dry, warm and clean. No smog or city foulness. Sometimes the slight tinge of distant rain could be detected. Not heavy memories, but my memories none the less.

The next time I heard the song I was 18 years old. It was the summer after I had graduated from high school. A slightly rebellious time in which I was living at a friends house. Carefree with a job at the local KFC my time was spent working or partying. It was during an evening of beer and weed. Sitting around feeling mellow, channel surfing and socializing when we came upon a movie called “The Point”. A classic animation narrated by Ringo Starr. The song “Remember” stuck with me. I knew I had heard it before but I couldn’t recall where. But then life moved on and other songs came and went.

I’m now a veteran with kids of my own. I hold down a job and pay a mortgage. There’s pets and braces to tend to. Birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate. Life to live. I was sitting in my recliner watching a movie, “You’ve got mail” I believe was the name. When all of a sudden they start playing “Remember” by Harry Nilsson. And for the briefest moment I was sitting in the back seat of my mom’s car, ten years old, not a care in the world.....

Remember.

5 Comments:

Blogger Giovanna said...

That's very sweet Tony, I like how you carried the song through the piece.

My suggestion is to examine some of your section structure, you have a lot of fragments that are distracting to the reader. Here for example: A slightly rebellious time in which I was living at a friends house. Carefree with a job at the local KFC my time was spent working or partying. It was during an evening of beer and weed. Sitting around feeling mellow, channel surfing and socializing when we came upon a movie called “The Point”. A classic animation narrated by Ringo Starr. Read it outload to yourself emphasing the rest st the periods. Instead try to compound the narrative a little, "It was the summer after I'd graduated from high school, and I was living at a friends house. Feeling carefree with a job at the local KFC, my time was spent either working or partying. It was during an evening of beer and weed. We were sitting around feeling mellow, channel surfing and socializing when we came upon a classic animated movie narrated by Ringo Starr called “The Point”."

2:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Thanks for the feedback. It's apparent English was not a favorite subject of mine and as a result I'm breaking a lot of rules when I write.

Thanks for the help.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

This was a pleasure to read.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Giovanna's suggestion is a good suggestion, but it's entirely punctuation-related. The flow of the piece was wonderful. After reading it a 2nd time, being more critical, I noticed you had a grammatical error (There's pets and braces...) It should be: "There are pets..." But don't worry about breaking too many rules. The important thing is that you write what you want to write. You actually told a very touching little story with very few words; and I think tying it all together around a song is wonderful.
~Lolly

12:45 PM  
Blogger Tayari Jones said...

Hi there! I have What IF.. but I can't find that exercise. I think it has been taken out of newer editions. I am teaching a seminar tomorrow to writers who are working on their GEDs and I really want to use the exercise. Can you help me get a copy of it?

5:44 AM  

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