Most nights, I get cravings.
Part of it is me trying to eat better, knowing that there are things that I can't or shouldn't have anymore, so automatically, I want that thing. RIGHT NOW. (read my post about now vs later for more insight into that.)
Sometimes, though, it will be an association thing. I will cut the grass or garden in the hot sun, and automatically want a beer afterwards. I will smell someone BBQing and want ribs. Stuff like that. Those associations are fun and I like giving into them.
The other night, I wanted a Slurpee.
I normally drink diet pop. Diet Pepsi is my favourite. But when it comes to Slurpees, I like Coke. The real stuff, frozen and packed with ice. I heart them so much. I try not to have them very often, because my stomach usually starts to hurt within 5 minutes of starting and I get all jacked up on caffeine and sugar, so sleep isn't really an option for a couple of hours.
But oh, the joy. It is cold and icy and wonderful in a cup. And it brings back so many memories.
As I drove to our closest 7-11 to get my fix, I realized I was driving with my windows up. That is unusal for me. As soon as it is nice in the spring, I roll the windows down, so I can smell the breeze, feel the warmth of the sun and drink it all in. It is one of my favourite things in the world. I usually get a driver's tan- from the elbow down, on one arm, as it hangs out my window.
So, I got my Slurpee, and headed back home. Window is down. Radio on. Steve Miller came on the radio. Then Bad Company. And like a slice of sunshine, like a warm summer breeze, the memories came back in.
I remember driving with my friends when I was 17 years old. I remember what it felt like to have a cold pop between your knees, your shoulders burning comfortably with the sunburn you got earlier in the day. I remember the feel of your hair, curly and long and messy, blowing like crazy in the wind coming through the window. I remember knowing that the boy in the backseat is watching you laugh, is holding his hand, so close to yours, but still not touching. I remember those butterflies, when you would smile. I remember flip flops, and sandy feet. I remember cutoffs and sweatshirts to stop the chill. I remember what it felt like to sit on the hot trunk of a car, still holding the heat from the day, as the day turns to night and everything cools off around you. I remember how the last hour before curfew was always the best. Things started happening, and good ideas were born.
There was a soundtrack to that time. I sang along to bands and songs that can raise a lump in my throat today. I see certain people, from that time, and a song pops into my head. I see those people the way they looked at 18.
I miss that time, with all my heart and soul. When I worry about my bills, and my job and my kids and my health, I remember what it felt like- Summer. Steve Miller. Slurpees. I feel better. Sad, nostalgic, but better.
Because I had those times. I lived them. I have the memories, so that means they were real. I appreciated them enough that I have a special place in my mind for them.
And I will always have Slurpees.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nostalgic".