No matter how much time passes, some songs, in a blink, transport you to the place and time you first heard them.
It’s the summer of 1985 and you’re in Washington D.C., for your summer internship. It’s Friday night and you’re at a pub in Georgetown with your co-worker, Paul. “Dirty Old Town” comes on, a sad ballad sung by a drunken Irish band. You lift your pints, giggle, sing along. The after-work Capitol crowd, in their starched shirts and yuppie suspenders, is oblivious. You keep singing, laughing. That co-worker will become your best friend for life.
Five minutes or thirty-two summers later, a father and a husband, and a career that’s rounding third, you’re in your driveway. On comes “Dirty Old Town.” And you sit and listen to the end, an imaginary cold glass of beer in your hand, your friend and the bustle of Georgetown in your memory.
The book I’m reading now — “Beartown,” by Fredrik Backman — says this: “We only get moments.”