life, thoughts

Time Machine

Driving around town, my car turned into a time machine and reversed me back 20 years … 25 years … mall_entrance (800x553)30 years … 35 years.  Stop!

There she is, standing in front of her old stomping grounds at the mall. The Triumph song rings in her head , “She’s young now, she’s wild now, she wants to be free … “ They wrote that song about her. She’s sure of it.

Her boyfriend drives up. She climbs into his 1975 Toyota Corolla where the stereo speakers blare, Jukebox Hero.

The smell of popcorn propels the time machine forward one day. She’s now wearing her popcounter (713x800)red apron over black slacks and shirt, filling a bucket with popcorn to sell to a customer.

She leaves with her friends for a dinner break from the movie theater job to go to the hot dog place, Hippos. Wait. Where is Hippos? It’s not there!

Whoosh. The time machine moves forward 35 years again. Hippos is gone. Did the years really go by? The sights, sounds and smells, all caused me to live it again.

“Don’t you know you’ve got to shock the monkey …” another song from the car radio thrusts the time machine backward again.

There she is, four years older than that candy girl at the theater. This time she’s standing in a smokey, crowded bar at the front of a stage.

concert-707155_960_720 (800x450)She holds a Long Island Iced Tea in her hand and giggles with her friend. The lights dim. A drum beats. The band begins. Her stomach lifts into her throat and a muffled squeal escapes. The handsome lead singer bursts onto the stage wearing black parachute pants and a leopard-print t-shirt. She and the singer dance in unison … he on the stage, she in the audience. Their eyes catch….

Blinking moves the time machine forward again thirty years. I remember that girl. Do you know what happened to her after their eyes met? The lead singer pulled her onto the stage. The scene was both comically clumsy and sizzling with chemistry, almost like a romantic comedy. She loved it. In fact, she ate it up. Her low self-esteem needed the attention … needed to feel like that outrageously attractive man who all the girls were screaming for, only had eyes for her. If so, then she was more special than any of them.

I remember how she went back to see that band time and time again.

All of those memories seemed as if they were from someone else’s life, until the sights, songs and smells morphed me into that young girl’s mind. I hadn’t seen so many of the old places since moving away. It seemed I skipped in time from age fifty to twenty and vice versa.

I’m no longer that insecure girl and don’t need the validation from the piercing, steely eyes of a sexy lead singer. I’m comfortable in my adult woman’s skin. The aging hurts the body, but I’m okay with this woman. She’s the best friend I’ve ever had.

If I could talk to that naïve, insecure girl, I’d tell her to enjoy her youth, but to never doubt that she is loved for who she is and always will be.

P.S. The band noted in this post was famous in the Midwest, but not widely known.


18 thoughts on “Time Machine”

    1. True, Charlie. That time machine doesn’t even happen on purpose since I’ve moved back home, but they are nice memories to have. May you be making blessed memories. 🙂


  1. Music is definitely a time machine. 🙂 Let me just hear the first few notes of a special song, and I’m back in another place and time, too. And like you, I’m also happy with who I am now. I think we’re lucky that way—I know too many people who view the past as the best days of their lives. And that is very sad to me.

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    1. Hi JM. I had some fun times back then, but they certainly weren’t the best days of my life. I can’t imagine longing for those times. Too confusing and unstable. It is good that we know who we are and that we’re right where we’re supposed to be. Thanks for sharing your experience.


  2. Great post Lori. You captured the way a song transports us back so well! I’ve had those moment too where suddenly twenty years disappear. And then I flashforward and it was like I visited another person’s life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kourtney. Yes, those flashbacks are like I just lived another person’s life for a few moments. Thanks for describing it so well.


    1. Hi Anneli. You’re right, it’s bittersweet. It’s also very strange to be near all my old haunts again after more than 2 dozen years. It’s like a skip in time. Thanks for reading about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Music always has a way of transporting me to another time. I could have had this same flashback, Lori, but I drove the Toyota Corolla instead of my boyfriend. He drove a big truck that I could hardly climb into. Oh, my father hated that truck. 🙂

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    1. Ha, that’s funny that we have similar teenage experiences, Jill. It’s so strange to be near all my old haunts again and hear those songs that transport me right back.

      Thanks for sharing a little more about your younger years, Jill. It’s always fun to hear about others experiences.

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  4. Music has the ability to transport us back in time like nothing else. Well, scents can do so too. Like you, I used to work in a movie theater. I loved that job, and to this day, the smell and sound of popcorn popping takes me back to my days behind the counter.

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    1. Hey there fellow theater worker. Ha! I loved that job, too. It’s so strange to be near all my old haunts again. I haven’t had such strong flashbacks in years, because I’d been so far away.

      BTW, when I worked at the theater, we didn’t even have cash registers, let alone computer screens to add up orders. We had to do it in our heads, and all we had was a cash drawer.

      Thanks for sharing about your flashbacks, Carrie. So cool to learn you had the same job.


  5. I have flashbacks like that too, and wish I could go back and tell my younger self to enjoy those of carefree days when the only thing I had to worry about was getting good grades. The memories seem to pop into my head more frequently, either because of a song, or a smell, or something I see on TV. I tell my boys (bother teenagers) to enjoy this time, don’t fret so much, because youth goes so quickly.
    I don’t think getting older is so awful though, it’s nice being comfortable in your own skin. I wear my age like a badge of honor, a longevity medal, I am really proud I have made it this far.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it crazy how a song or a smell can transport us right back to another time? Since I haven’t seen many of my old haunts in a quarter of a century, I’m getting a lot of those flashbacks these days.

      Those carefree days were great, but I don’t know if we realized how great we had it until now.

      Thanks for sharing your experiences with flashbacks, SD.

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