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Play Me Back

February 9, 2014


The Compact Disc Player at Mel’s Diner
plays “These Boots are Made for Walkin’”

I pause in my appreciation of my one-egg breakfast
with bacon (soft), Mel potatoes and coffee

I’m in the backseat of our maroon Mercury sedan with
my mom at the wheel and Nancy Sinatra on the radio

I’m looking way up at the back of my mom’s head and
because it’s the 1960s, I am not wearing a seat belt

“Alone again (Naturally)” begins to play and I’m back
at my uncle and aunt’s prune ranch during harvest time

My cousin and I will spend a large part of our summer
punching a clock, picking prunes and exiting childhood

“All My Loving” starts and I’m in our living room watching
The Ed Sullivan Show with my dad on a Sunday night

Ed Sullivan says, “…Ladies and gentlemen…The Beatles!”
Four, young, black and white forms begin to sing on the screen

John, Paul, George and Ringo move to their catchy beat and
they wear big smiles and foreheads covered by thick, dark hair

My dad yells from his chair, “Hey, hon!”
My parents never called each other by name

My mom pops her head in from the kitchen
drying her hands on a dish towel, “Yes, dear?”

“Look!” My dad points at our TV
“Those are guys!”

My mom’s mouth drops open
“Those are…guys?”

“Yeah!” my dad laughs incredulously
“Those are guys!”

My mom says, “But their hair is so long.
Are you sure those are guys?”

“Yeah, those are guys!”

Man, has a lot changed
in fifty freakin’ years

The music comes to an end
and so does my breakfast

It’s time to go before any
more music can play me back

  1. I love this. I had this same experience this morning as I drove home on the school run and was transported back to being 5 years old and listening to Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep on the radio in my mother’s kitchen as my sister sang along.

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