“Hmm…” I fumble with a CD case with more scratches than clear plastic and no liner to tell what’s inside. The yellow CD is as worn… no clues to mark it’s past.
“I guess we’ll have to try it out.” I talk to myself as I work through assorted stuff. Somehow keeping it means something. Bread crumbs to a past.
“Hey listen, don’t let ’em get your mind” screaming guitars blast between they pause “Fill your brain with orders… that’s not right! They’re playing a game that draws you closer.” more guitars “Until you’re living in a world ruled by fear”
The voice is raw. But I know this. I pulls at the corners in my mind. I know every word, every guitar riff. Drums echo in my mind before they crash. My head instinctively moves forward and back.
“Wow, don’t hurt yourself old man!” A young voice laughs.
I look to my left. Skinny young kid looks back. Loner hair than mine with less forehead showing. His easy smile is slightly unnerving yet disarming at the same time. I know him. I’ve seem that face before. I struggle to name him.
“Hey, this is mine.” I wave an empty unlabeled CD case. I’m half joking and half defiant.
“I listened to this well before you were aaarrouund.” My voice stops slowly. I remember things.
“What ever you say. You know it’s only been out for a month. The video, six weeks.” His face shows the same puzzlement of who I am that I have for him. “I didn’t know people your age listened to this kind of music.”
That did it. I catch up with the music. and lunge at him “Scccccrrreeeaaming screaming for vengeance! The world is defiled in disgrace.”
Time stops. Lunging was a bad idea. Hitting notes that high…didn’t work either. Still I hold my ground.
His eyes go wide. His half step back is a win for me. Fooling oneself is difficult sometimes. I know him. I was him.
“You seen the video! He ticks and forth then jumps on the drum beat. Wow, I’ve been trying that. I have practice late I’m supposed to surprise Riley and Jimmie with that.” He pauses. “Now that I see you do that…. I’m not sure it’s such a good idea. You looked like s fish jumping out of water, Dude.”
“You’re younger. Jump, plant and then scream. Gilbert will freak out. He always thinks unexpected shit is cool.” I’m locked into a time 30 years ago. “Nadine, wow, mood watch out for her! She is going to do somethings to you….”
I stop. Dear God, he had no idea. Hell, did I even know Riley’s real name before his mom Nadine… And the spandex tiger pants. That’s when I find out her name. She was fitting me for those pants alright. I can still see her… The difference between a 16 year old and a 36 year old was like finding a new planet to explore.
“Dude, who the hell is Gilbert? I don’t know how you think that this ‘jump, plant and scream’ will help me. This is too weird.” Je looks back at me. His mind sees who I must be. That didn’t help either.
“Remember it doesn’t last long. Enjoy the moments as they happen. Yoy won’t believe the things ahead of you.” I reach out toward him. “But make sure you sing ‘You got another thing coming’ first. Trust me. You’ll thank me in another 30 years.”
I reach his hand it fades.
“Is Nadine his mom?” the young voice hangs but doesn’t hear any response from me.
I had no idea how lucky I was at the time.
Italized words are lyrics from ‘Screaming for Venegeance’ by Judas Priest
If you dare the link to the live video