Hi. It’s Janet. Janet Janet, not some other version pretending to be me. The real deal, and all that. I’m in a really weird space tonight. Normally this would be a therapy night, but Therapy Guru is down with COVID, so we rescheduled. Whether or not I’ll be around for the rescheduled visit, who knows? It may be Saoirse or Sharon or someone else that’s driving that night.

But that isn’t what I wanted to talk about…. I think. Instead, I’m trying to figure out 1987. Wny 1987? Yes, exactly, why 1987?!?

I have a pretty fuzzy recollection of my childhood. Some years simply aren’t there, others have a couple of highlights…. but my memory doesn’t really kick in until around I was almost 20. You could fit my memories of childhood into a 90 minute infomercial, and still have time to sell solar powered juicers. Most of what I know of growing up is, well, kind of second hand information. It’s like a friend went on a trip and I’ve heard about it, but didn’t experience it.

Except tonight I’m experiencing 1987. In full living color and surround sound. I can feel the seat of the volvo my brother is driving down Cedar Hill while we listen to The Lost Boys soundtrack. I mean, stuff like that is crystal, crystal clear tonight. Random bits of 1987. It feels really close and real.

Why? I have no freaking clue. I just remember my brother going off to college, me starting junior high, and a bunch of 80s music. It’s like my mind just dumped 1987 on me and said “here”. No explanation. Just vivid memories, on a flashback level, but without the usual bad memories that come with a flashback.

That’s not entirely true, actually, there was something that I touched on briefly while drifting off to a nap this evening – a hand over my mouth coming from behind. No other context, but it was younger me, and it was very, very vivid. Then I hop, skip and jump to an hour or so later to find Saoirse out working (what else), and once Saoirse finished up, I pretty much became the sole driver for tonight. It’s just me… and the summer and fall of 1987.

I remember getting tapes from Columbia House Records (do they even exist anymore? I doubt it). 1987 would have been before I switched the collection to CD. There was also the record store in the mall. I can remember its layout, with tapes on the wall. I remember buying a Twisted Sister tape. <laugh> And I remember when Guns and Roses’ Appetite for Destruction came out…. double check, yup, 1987.

I had a black Toshiba “walkman” ripoff, that had am/fm radio as well… unlike my brother’s real Sony Walkman, which had no radio. Now why in the hell did I need to remember that? I also had a “boom box”. Wow, memories are flooding in. I think I’ve found the common thread, its the music…

Oh, earlier memory from spring 1987, Recording an interview in Cottonwood from a Bataan Death March survivor that my grandparents knew. Again, its all about the cassettes? I remember researching my 6th grade WWII paper in the library, looking at microfilm newspapers while listening to Iron Maiden on my walkman. I’d get motion sick from speeding through microfilm… an experience no modern generation will ever know.

My awareness of that time period is expanding. Some of 1988 is making an appearance. My first concert – Def Leppard. It was so hot in Phoenix I remember my shirt was soaked. I can feel it stuck to me. But we had really, really good seats. The band Europe opened for them. That was the trip I met my brother’s friend Wayne. We became really good friends. A mutual love of stereos and music helped. 1988 was also when I got my first real stereo. Wayne helped pick out the components, including my first CD player. Let’s see, my first 4 CDs were… um, Pink Floyd’s Momentary Lapse of Reason, Def Leppard’s High N’ Dry, Iron Maiden’s Seventh Son or a Seventh Son, and Cinderella’s second album, which I can’t remember the name of right now. I remember buying all four CDs at once in the mall’s record store. I more than remember, I can almost feel opening the CD boxes. (Yes, CDs used to come in boxes.)

This is wild, man. There is no yucky stuff. I don’t really remember much of school, even less of “The Shop”… these are all yummy good memories.

Huh. This is probably a really boring post to read… I’m not going to go back and edit it down, though. Welcome to my stream of consciousness, now with the power of 1987-88, which continue to unroll in my mind. I think I now remember more about that time period that the entire rest of my childhood.

I wonder if this is some sign of integration? But what part’s memories are these? I don’t feel anyone else around inside. It’s just me and the 80s. Could this be Saoirse’s happy memories? I have no idea what’s going on. When you are used to a huge blank space in your personal history, experiencing a flood of detailed memories for several hours is a trip. I’ve only touched on a few in this post, but its been a flood.