Deep in the year of 1984 I started my climb towards love.
It was initiated with the small plastic cassette tape I purchased with my own money at Gold Circle department store in Columbus, Ohio.
Holy shit I was no longer a mere child.
During that same Autumn I also bought the "Like a Virgin" album.
I have the distinct recollection of my mother bending down and whispering in my ear
Do you know what that word means she probed?
Yes I hissed
(of course I was not sure. I thought it may have meant a hooker or a prostitute but I would have to refer to my faster more learned friend in the 6th grade for this information.)
We pushed the shopping cart deeper into the music section of the store and I held the money tighter in my hand. My mother told me not to show the cassette to my grandmother who was with us and I am sure she made me sign a doctrine of good faith that stated I would never allow her own father (the southern baptist minister) to know we had a Madonna tape in our home.
I stared at Madonna's boobies all the way home through the cheap thin plastic bag.
I instantaneously wanted a bustier. The car could not drive fast enough to get me to my room where I could be alone with my yellow plastic Sports Walkman.
Now I guess I was like all the others girls and sang La Isla Bonita while I did the dishes
or used my hairbrush as a microphone for Material Girl.
But my heart belonged to the Canadian:
I'm gonna run to you
Suddenly all of the girls and boys in Mrs. Poling's class turned and morphed into tiny adults with mad beating hearts that winter and the Star Wars play on the black asphalt that spring changed like a shift into more footloosesque expression.
I know her love is true But it's so damn easy making love to you
Like a Teutonic plate rubbing against another under the playground, the intense forces shook off some of the innocence we had stuck to us so honestly out there in the county.
we held onto our boom boxes
and walked around imitating some idea of what adulthood must be like
gliding our bodies around like tough love kids
who knew what they wanted
like grown ups
we walked circled rings
imprinted history onto the merry go round
and sang songs that made not a true lick of sense to us yet
but that somehow resonated right through our beating hearts
Oh - once in your life you find someone
Who will turn your world around
Bring you up when you're feelin' down
It was the music that I really cut my true blue romantic heart on and it never went away really.
Years later when I would discover that I was alternative and much deeper than most of the student body at my school and that my musical tastes were governed by skater boys and what I saw on my neighbors MTV 120 minutes program weekly- I realized that my love for Bryan had to be hidden away because ballads and cheesy love songs were not what cool was made of.
I had to be firm with my heart. Only I couldn't. I would listen to the Violent Femmes and The Cure and all the music that I learned to love like a sickness, but I would secretly make myself Memorex tapes of Bryan Adams and think of nothing but tight pants and blond hair and the country of Canada. I would think of the day when I would be loved like that.
Also back in the 80's my dad would take us to The Spaghetti Warehouse in Columbus, Ohio. It was fine dining for me to sit in a bathtub and eat linguine. I loved it. I think what I loved best was the kiddo game room where they had the coolest Estrella Fortune Telling/ Wishing machine just like the one in the movie Big with Tom Hanks. You inserted a quarter and she was all freaky and spooky and the machine would all but shake violently and a small card stock rectangle would be produced as she waved her porcelain hands around. The tiny card often gave you information about the future and lucky numbers and tiny prophesies.
I collected the cards in a small tin box for the remainder of my childhood.
Nothing ever really came true.
I know that the Spaghetti Warehouse has gone downhill since the days of yore- but it still stands. It still cranks out sub par pasta and Peroni's over on the West side of town. You can still sit in a trolley car and eat cheap food and stuff yrself full of garlic bread. I think me and Blaise are gonna drop off Finnian to school one day soon and go visit the game room. It would only be right that the machine still stands there. That I could go inside and stand in front of it. I could ask her things.
I could ask her about my path. I am supposed to be writing this book about this character who is obsessed with the past and memories and people that imprinted upon her and in front of the machine I could ask Estrella if perhaps she may be the person to tell me the truth. To tell me to open up my eyes and see that if I just accept that it may be a lot of me that I am writing about that it will be OK. That the stuck will come unstuck and all around my feet will grow again a narrow trodden way that I will walk.
That I will run.
cause when the feelin's right I'm gonna run all night
My name is Amy Turn Sharp and I love Bryan Adams.