I’m on the platform at Metro Center. It’s hot, crowded, smelly, and above all, damp – not at all unusual on an August afternoon in DC, where high temperatures and torrential downpours are the norm.
Inside my head, however, I could not be farther away. The song that has shuffled up on my iPhone, “Matthew” by John Denver, has pulled me out of my surroundings and into the late 1970s. I’m stretched out in the way-back of our giant, blue Pontiac station wagon, rolling down route 81 in Pennsylvania, reading a book while John sings on the 8-track.
Next, I’m in my aunt and uncle’s house outside of Baltimore, running through the living room, hitting the top of the decorative milk can as we round the corner into the dining room. (No, of course we’re not running, Aunt Anne, just walking fast. No, it wasn’t me who hit the can. Maybe it was Brian?)
And then I’m outside the cottage in the Adirondacks; the geraniums are red, the crisp, sweet smell of pine is everywhere, and the Hudson flows lazily by. I’m digging in the dirt that’s not quite sand along the side of the house, and my dad is on the porch.
As I move from upstairs to downstairs, from red line to orange, I am not in the present. I hit repeat once, then again, and let nostalgia take over. It’s the nicest commute I’ve had in quite a while.
“Yes and joy were the things that he was raised on,
Love was just the way to live and die…”
Music amazes me.