Here is a memory, exemplary of how the mind turns things over the years.
It is summer because Six Flags Over Georgia is a summer place when you are young. The great rides of later years are not in evidence, but the Great American Scream Machine is there and gives a startled thrill as it descends on what even now seems a rickety track. I have come here every year since the park’s opening, usually with parents, but now am old enough to have a Season Pass and come alone.
The draw today is not the rides, it is a concert, in the evening, one I have been anticipating for weeks. I wear a short nylon set of pale sky blue I put together from different stores, or maybe the same store at different times. I have a tank top with a circular collar and shorts that border on too short with a vinyl and material belt that came together. Mom lets me out of the house, so I must be decent. My hair is still blonde, but I could have already begun coloring it.
I get to the pavilion early, while the show is being set up, I want to be in a place where I can see. The star is a teenager like me, I follow him in Tiger Beat, with its bright arresting covers that I cannot pass up in the grocery store check out line. He comes out on stage to do a sound check, and I am enthralled seeing him alive. Our eyes meet across the distance, which is not far.
Somehow I move away from the stage, and then I feel a tap on my shoulder. He followed me, and I turn to face him. He asks if I would like to go for an ice cream after the show, and oh yes, I would. My father would be furious though because he says all rock stars are ruffians. He does not look bad, he seems like someone who could be my friend. My heart breaks a little, and I tell him no, my parents would not allow me to stay late.
Years pass that short set stays in a drawer long after I have outgrown that slim frame. I always wonder what might have been had I stepped out of my fear, my inhibition, that evening. If I had gone with that gorgeous blonde boy, who wanted to spend time with me. Maybe somehow, somewhere it happened, and both our paths were changed for the better. Could be.
When working with memories creatively, all the pieces do not have to be there. A little space where the color fades, fog descends, leaves room for imagination to fill in the spaces and make what is vague, transcend and come into focus with a clarity that to a reader, viewer, listener, seems more than real, even magic. Always play the magic, because that is where the story happens and the story is everything.
As a prompt, use a memory creatively to tell a story in whatever way you like. If it leads you off somewhere, chase it. Chasing the tale is magic.
Thank you for visiting, please come again and be safe out there.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan