I’ve been thinking a lot about memory lately. How strange a beast it is – how it can hide things from you and only let it out when you stumble across a certain song, a smell, a taste, a location. And how I’m forgetting so much more stuff as I get older. How I wish I’d journalled more throughout my life. So that my memories could be more vivid and I can be transported right there. I blame this week’s short term memory loss on the the ditching of caffeine from November 1st. My brain just has to learn to function without it. I gave in last night and bought a bottle of coke at the shops. But then I felt guilty. And it remains in my fridge unopened. Maybe I should label it with a date, as a symbol of my willpower.
My recent trip to Sydney was a trip down memory lane without even intending it to be. I was lured to Sydney to see Pat Benatar and the Bangles. Pat was always my go-to rock chick whenever I was heartbroken or feeling dejected (which pretty much made up most of my adolescence). She was tough, her lyrics showed that she wasn’t going to be walked over by some guy. And I’d always wanted to see her live. I started playing her CDs a lot this year after my relationship broke up. She helped me work through the anger. So when her tour was announced, I invited a friend and bought tickets in the pre-sale. Gotta love the internet, no more early mornings and late nights lining up outside ticket outlets.
The Bangles surprised me. I was never really a Bangles fan when they were big. I was more into Aussie pub rock. So when they sang Eternal Flame and I got goosebumps, I was shocked at my reaction.
But of course the main attraction was Pat Benatar and she delivered a fabulous show. Though we had seats only 10 rows back we were boxed in so couldn’t easily escape down the front.
Pat totally rocked and I find it hard to believe that she is 57 years old. She took me back to my teenage years, singing all her hits. Back to time of innocence and angst. I’ve ordered her autobiography and look forward to reading it.
But back to memory. Just being in Sydney triggered a lot of memories for me. It’s a long time since I’ve wandered around Sydney alone. Past trips have always been jam-packed with visiting relatives, friends, catching up and socialising. This time I chose to have some me time – some thinking time – some alone time.
So I found myself standing on Birrong station between trains thinking about my Nanna and wishing I could visit her now. I stood on Liverpool station (between trains again) thinking about my nights working at Domino’s, the friends I made there, the guy who broke my heart, and thinking about losing my mum at Liverpool Hospital. I gazed at the changes to Glenfield Station and looked at the big security fence around my high school, wondering if it was meant to keep people out or the students in. I stayed a night with my best friend from 2nd grade.
Memories came rushing to the forefront of my mind, triggered by my location. It seems as if fragments of my past are scattered all over the suburbs of Sydney.
Walking up George Street after the Pat Benatar concert brought back more memories, even though World Square was just a hole in the ground when I spent most of my time in the city. Ah…the Metro Theatre. Memories of gigs, the first time I saw Chris Wilson live, and memories of working at the theatre before it became a music venue. Memories of great friends. Memories of another relationship. Yep, relationship debris all over Sydney – well almost. I think I skipped the North Shore. Um, hang on, no I didn’t. There is a little relationship debris left there as well.
Back home, I purchased the Sweet and Sour soundtrack from Dymocks. Ah, now there’s a total return back to my teenage years, watching the show on ABC.
And I’m amazed now how familiar the songs sound. I don’t remember owning the soundtrack as a teen. But maybe I’d videod the songs and played them over and over. Or maybe it’s just that it’s Deborah Conway singing for the most part.
Whatever it is…I’ve enjoyed my trip down memory lane.