September 14, 2012 by The Citron Review
by Susan Hodara
I am sitting in the seat, in the row, in the theater. My husband is beside me. Row H, not too far away from the stage. I am wearing a black jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves that tugs a little when I lean forward; my pants are a shimmery gray. My legs are crossed, my back is straight.
If you smile at me, I will understand…
My head sways to the rhythm.
I am in Roger’s living room after school, slouched into the corner of the couch. My backpack with my school books lies forgotten by the door where I tossed it when I came in. Now my eyes are closed. I exhale. There is only music.
There’s just one thing I got to know,
can you tell me please, who won?
They stand backlit against a glowing red with a pattern of yellow swirls.
Nash is trim, wiry; his gray hair rises up about an inch around his head. He follows the beat with his body, hands rising, feet stomping, knees bending together with the song.
Crosby looks like he always did, face like the moon, hair long and wavy, now white. He is Zen-still except for the vigorous strumming of his right arm as his left fingers dance along the neck of his guitar.
Probably keep us both alive…
I am 58, but I am 16 too, flittering between here — this concert hall, this stage, the people in the rows in front of us holding up their iPhones to snap a shot, their tiny screens only hinting at what is happening in this room — and there, where all that mattered was the boy sitting next to me, leaning in to kiss my lips, and the records we played.
Wooden ships on the water, very free and easy
What is here is the embrace of the harmony, the chill of an unexpected note. The thrill that these two men can still deliver the music in all the power it held 40 years ago. The sudden falling into memory.
What was there was youth, when feeling dictated and we sought out more and more. When the music was our discovery, our path to where we knew we wanted to be.
Easy, you know the way it’s supposed to be
When the concert is over, I join the audience as we jump to our feet, clapping and cheering. Then I follow my husband as we make our way toward the exit. I look down, focus on my feet as if to block out the chattering crowd.
We are leaving, you don’t need us
Try as I might, I cannot hold it. What was here, the past made present, is already slipping away.
Susan Hodara is a journalist, memoirist, editor and teacher. Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, Communication Arts, and more. Her memoirs are published in various anthologies and literary journals. She is a co-author with three other women of Still Here Thinking of You, memoirs about mothers and daughters. For more information: www.susanhodara.com.