Rainy night in the city


I’ve written about Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” before. It’s one of those songs from the 1980s that takes me back to another time in my life. I wouldn’t relive high school for all the money in the world, but the music from that era can always make me think about those days. I don’t know why that is, but I suspect I’m not the only one who feels like this, either.

Last night it was raining in Chicago, and I was driving around, looking for something to listen to on the radio. And I turned to an 80s-related nostalgia station, and this song was playing. Whatever mental images of this song I may have already, they were supplemented by the images of night, the city, and the rain coming down.

Back in the 1980s, I was a long way from Chicago, both literally and figuratively. I never in my wildest imagination would have thought this is where I would end up living. But here I am, and there’s no place else I’m ever going to be after this, either. This is home for me now.

So as I drove through the streets of my new hometown, listening to the sounds of another time in my life, I realized that memories are a lingering thing. They can be good, or they can be bad, but they are always there. To the day I die, I’ll mentally picture the video for this song, with the guy (the singer, I think) driving a convertible through the desert, and the band playing this song in the studio, and two other guys doing some sort of a dance routine in what appeared to be time with the song.

But now, the next time I hear that song on the radio, I’ll possibly also think of a rainy night in Chicago, and a trip down Western Avenue, and the not-so-young-anymore guy who harkened back to an earlier time in life. As the band tells us in their song, “nothing ever lasts forever.”

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