Wednesday, August 12, 2009

31 Hours

This is part two in my ongoing series about how certain songs have shaped my life and are indelible parts of my memory. You can call this chapter: Songs in Cars

I don't remember the exact date, but it was probably sometime in late '95 or early '96, because Molly was two years old. I was still married to her andDoogie's dad, Doug. The four of us were driving somewhere in our big old boat of a car, listening to the classic rock radio station. Amie by Pure Prairie League came on radio, and Doug and I both started singing along.Doogie , only four years old, started singing too, and then when the chorus started, Molly sang, "Amie, what you wanna do? I think I could stay with you, for awhile maybe longer if I do" Where we were going was unimportant, in that moment the four of us were joined in a song that we all loved, so we sang at the top of our lungs and reveled in the sound.

March of 2000 (I think). Jesse and I went away to Chicago for our first weekend together. Our relationship was fairly new, and we were still learning about each other. We spent the night at a friend's apartment, but I hardly remember seeing her at all (sorry Lauren!), I was so wrapped up in falling in love and feeling like the world existed just for us. On the long drive home, he let me drive his car for awhile. We were just a couple of miles from his house whenAlanis Morisette's Head over Feet came on the radio. We were sitting in a comfortable silence, just happy to be together, so I could hear the lyrics loud and clear "Your love is thick and it swallowed me whole. You're so much braver than I gave you credit for." My throat grew tight with tears, and I didn't dare look at him for fear of losing anysemblance of control. He reached out and grabbed my hand, lightly rubbing my fingers while we listened to the rest of the song without ever saying a word.

The first weekend of August 2007. We were on our annual camping trip with my mom. Molly's then boyfriend Ian was along. I wasn't able to go up the first two days because of my RA, so I headed up Friday afternoon with Jesse. Molly met me in tears. Because of a few people (who haven't been invited back since and who will remain unnamed), the trip was horrible. My kids felt like they were under constant attack, and there was absolutely no snack food. They were miserable. The fighting continued on Saturday until the tension could be cut with a knife. Jesse and I decided to take a run into town just to get away from the stress for awhile, and we packed all four kids (including Ian) into the van. The atmosphere inside the van was quiet, everyone caught up in their own angry thoughts. I popped in a CD I had made of fun songs, and I Like to Move It Move It from the Madagascar soundtrack came on. But the second time King Julian sang the title, we were all singing at the top of our lungs, the tension shattered. We laughed and talked the rest of the way to town where we scarfed down copious amounts of junk food. The rest of the weekend flew by and we were all able to brush off the anger and hurt because of a moment of joy created by a terrifically fun song.

31 Hours by Masha Hamilton is a story that will haunt readers long after the covers are closed. Carol Meitzner wakes up suddenly one night with a mother's intuition that something is incredibly wrong with her twenty-one year old son, Jonas. She hasn't heard from him in over a week, which is unusual for the close pair, but this goes beyond the normal worries of a mother. For the next 31 hours, she will try to find him before something, she doesn't know what, goes irrevocably wrong. While Carol looks for Jonas, he is secreted in a small basement apartment preparing to take an action that will force the entire nation to rethink its violent nature. Hamilton's provocative book is a stunning read. Despite Jonas' terrible intentions, Hamilton has made him sympathetic to readers. He's not a brainwashed automaton or frenzied monster; his intent is clear (at least to him) and while he goes through periods of fear, he never considers backing out or changing his mind. It's Jonas' realism that makes him so frightening; he could be any college student who feels disenfranchised with the United States. Hamilton keeps the suspense drawn so tightly that there were entire chapters where I forgot to breathe, only catching a breath with the blank page at the end of a chapter. Brilliantly written, this is a book that won't let the reader go easily.

Mia's decided that I have to get her on Dr. Phil. I'm not sure why or exactly what I'm supposed to do to get her on the show; she's just demanding that I buy her a plane ticket and get her there. At first I told her she could make that a goal of hers when she grows up to get on the show, but I had to rethink that. Getting on Dr. Phil's show, should not be a goal for anyone!LOL