It's Fine. Time Did Stop

It's Fine. Time Did Stop

When I was in high school, my brother and I commuted about forty-five minutes one way to and from school. We spent a lot of time in the car, and this pre-dated satellite radio, smart phones,, and all of the other ways a person can now listen to only what they want when they want.

So we had about four channels pre-set on the car radio, which at the time seemed pretty cool. Two of these channels played Alternative Rock which for me in high school was the fullest musical expression of myself. Until I started dating a guy my junior year who had even more obscure music tastes than I did, and man, did I feel seen.

But even I couldn't listen to the most painfully thought out mix CD on repeat, so we still listened to the local radio stations. And they played stuff I liked.

...Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, Eve 6, Third Eye Blind, The Killers, Cake, oh Cake, Pearl Jam...

You get the picture. Or rather, you get the soundscape.

Then I graduated. I went out of state. I began to date someone with even more obscure music taste than my high schoolboy friend, and well, I went on with my life.

But, every time I go home, I end up in the car, and I punch in the radio stations of my teen years. And what do I hear?

...Weezer, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Modest Mouse, The Strokes, Eve 6, Third Eye Blind, The Killers, Cake, oh Cake, Pearl Jam...

The stations went from playing the hottest Alternative Rock, to playing the sounds of the 2000's, '90's and beyond, to now branding themselves as Classic Rock stations.

Every time I drive that highway, I am right back as a sixteen-year-old, living at my parents house, dying to be free.

I went home this October, and my brother and I went to a ramen place near his house. The restaurant was playing one of these stations, and I mentioned it to my brother.

"You ever notice how these stations are still playing the stuff they played when we were in high school?"

My brother looked at me, seriously considering the question, then said,

"I never noticed that, but you're right."

"I graduated high school eighteen years ago, and they are still playing the same songs," I said.

Then we started to bet on if the next song would be one we knew from high school.

It was. And so was the next one. And the next one.

We were laughing so hard, the sushi chefs stopped rolling and looked at us. Another song came on and my brother and I scream giggled. One chef made eye contact with me while I tried not to cry from laughter. He continued to look at me, like he'd never seen two adults nearly pee themselves while laughing in his establishment, then he said something to his partner, never taking his eyes from me.

Finally, the station played something we hadn't heard in high school, and we felt, well, a little let down. But it was probably good because I was pretty dehydrated at that point. I did have a bowl of electrolytes disguised as ramen before me though, and I began to eat, doing my best to resume the facade of being a real adult.

Then the song ended and another high school hit came on. I tried to eat my noodles without giggling, but I couldn't. And neither could my brother.

Maybe we really were still in high school.