Friday, June 18, 2010

The B-52s “Planet Claire”

They can’t all be happy memories, right?

Not that this is a sad one. Just an uneasy one.

I think unease comes from the mix of emotions and images.

This song takes me to a very specific place and time: Freshman year of college.

It’s a pretty incredible time. You experience this explosion of freedom, new friends, new situations, new possibilities. A giddiness accompanies nearly every situation.

Every Friday that fall, I’d meet up in the dorm room of one particular friend, before hitting a party or whatever. We’d meet in this particular friend’s room, because he was always the last to be ready to go out.

If we planned to go out at 9, let’s say, then I and the other guys would show up at, you know, 9ish. And he’s just be getting out of the shower.

He’d roll into the room, wrapped in a towel, and put on this favorite record, The B-52s debut album. And then he’d get dressed.

So if you ask me what I feel when I hear this song, I’ll tell you that it immediately conjures up feelings of excitement and anticipation, knowing that in an hour or so, we’d be drinking and mingling and talking to pretty, pretty co-eds.

But if you ask me what I see when I hear this song, well, my mind’s eye, unfortunately, goes straight to my friend, dropping the towel, dancing and dressing while singing “Planet Claire.”

And there’s the unease. The emotion and the image don’t match, and my brain can’t reconcile the two.

Best to hit forward on the disc player. Everyone is dressed by track #2.

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