Memories From the Balcony – What Do You Remember?

And suddenly . . .
I’m right back to a time when I was alive. It’s the smells. It’s the aromas from my City. It’s the taste of something from the boyhood chapters of my youth.
It’s the sound of cicadas chattering from the trees in the summertime and suddenly, I can remember when the wind moved through branches and shook the leaves. Just like that, I am reminiscent of long, lazy days when the sun was bright and the winds were warm.

I have memories that come from different chapters in my mind.
Some of these memories took place in different settings and with different people. For example, I can remember a ride in a car at the age of 17. The Old Man was gone and Mom drove up to The Farm to see me.
I was in the midst of so many changes. I was changing as a person and developing from youth to manhood. I was changing my chemistry by ways of cleansing my system of the impurities and the toxins that come with addictive living.
I was just a kid yet I had seen things which even grown folks would tell me, “Goddammit, son. You should be thankful to be alive.”

I remember when Mom came up.
I hadn’t seen her since the unveiling of my Father’s headstone.
The day was kind to us. The weather was perfect.
In fact, this was the first beautiful day of the new spring season. The green returned to the leaves and all that was either absent or bare had rejoined the northeast and just like that, our side of the world was warm again.
This meant that summer was on its way.
I had no idea which direction my life was heading – but soon enough, I knew I was going to find out.

I can remember Mom was driving.
We were on a road that was at the side of a mountain and to the left of me was the upwards slant of an earthy world.
But to right was the open space – to the right of me and through the window was the overlook of the local world from an elevated road. I saw nothing but the variation of the land below. The tree-lined mountains and terrain below were all shaded with variations of green. I swear, not even an artist could duplicate this picture.
There was nothing but scenery below and above there was nothing but a blue sky and a long-winged bird, soaring high and swerving in circles without moving its wings.

I can remember the song that played on the radio at the time. While I cannot say that I am a devout fan or even much of a fan of Lisa Stansfield, if ever or whenever I hear the song All Around The World, I am instantly jettisoned back to this time with Mom. I was young and on the verge of an absolutely brand new journey.

I knew that life was ahead of me. I knew that hardships were ahead of me too. Then again, I also knew that for the first time in my young life, the poison was out of me. I was clean. I had a fresh and brand new understanding of myself as well as an intense education of myself and my triggers. I learned about my internal gears that twirl in the mind and churn my thought machine into either a fine or reckless machine.
I was washed in the substance of a new life; therefore, I was about to face life in a new and improved way.

I knew that whether I had what it takes or not; or if I made it or not, at least I knew there was more hope than the hopelessness of my scars and nightmares of my past mistakes. I knew there were other options and, in fairness to my options, I finally came to the personal realization that not all of our options in life are desirable.

Sometimes . . .
You just have to muscle through.

Perhaps it would be safe to say that this was the first time I ever truly experienced a moment of spiritual clarity. I was healed, at least for the moment – I was soothed as if to be bathed in the sense of hope. For the moment, even in my time of loss or the mourning grief which I felt towards my Father because my Old Man died before I had the chance to show him my “sober” version of self – even still, I knew that somehow there was a brand new world waiting for me.

I got out and moved on.
I embraced a new version of myself and with all that had happened in my young life, I was inexperienced and underdeveloped when it came to different social events. But for whatever it was worth, I was willing to learn.

And let’s see . . .
What was the big cologne from back then?
I believe the popular scent was Eternity for Men.
Yes, I think that was it.
I think there was a round or two of Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men.
Admittedly and somewhat regretfully, I do remember having my share of colognes like Darkkar Noir and some others which tell the tale of my times and my youth.
I also admit to having a little bottle of Paul Sebastian, which might not have been the coolest, but I did like the way it smelled.

This . . .
This right here . . .
This is something to me.

I can remember these moments and the times; whereas, I can almost see them and if I were to smell some of the old aromas, like say for example, if I could smell “Le Male” from Jean Paul Gaultier or Armani, Acqua Di Gio, or even others colognes like, Polo, CK One, Fahrenheit, or Pour Homme by Dolce Gabbana, and I’m sure the list would go one – but either way, if I could smell any of those smells, I would become instantly swarmed and taken back to a time warp of memory.

And just like that, I would remember the fashions.
I would remember the vibe and the feel. I
would remember the first time I ever stepped into a whole, brand new scene called New York City.

I remember the clubs which was unlike anything that I have ever imagined. I remember the lights and the strobes and the music and the bodies swaying like mad. I remember the beats and adrenaline; the heat between people and, of course, I remember exactly how it felt to dance until the sweat poured down my body. 

Mind you, I was never much for dancing. But to be clear, when you’re in it and the music hits you or when you see the scenes and when the lights take over and the energy from the bass sweeps you away, there is no way to resist.
There’s no such thing as worries or insecurity. There’s too much happening. There’s too many people and too many versions of movement and too much happening at once to be worried or insecure. 

I remember places like The Red Zone. I remember The Limelight and The Tunnel.
I remember Webster Hall and the freaks and the “drag-queen” transvestites on stilts.
I remember it all. 

Really, all I need is a hint.
All I need is a song or a smell and just like that, I’m right back to where I was – in a good way.

I have been going over these memories of mine to share with you and I don’t mind telling you this.
I don’t mind telling you the humbling parts as well as the amazing parts of my journey.
I don’t have many photographs from my younger days nor am I part of the new culture who frequents the ‘selfie” market with pictures that are either enhanced or filtered for a more “enhanced” affect. 
No, that’s not my style.

I am what I am.
I look how I look.

But more, I was who I was . . .
And this is me now, looking back with you,

. . . and smiling

This is my memory.
But out of curiosity –
What do you remember?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.