It’s funny how a song has the power to bring you back to a moment, or memory that you had long forgotten. For me, this was about a week ago. My friend H and I decided to treat ourselves to a celebratory holiday dinner at this delicious Japanese restaurant out in Great Neck. The service had been a little slow so, we were there for a while. We each had a glass of Pinot Noir and relaxed.
It just so happens that a good friend of mine works at the restaurant across the street from where H and I were dining, so, when we were finished, we decided to drive (not walk it was freezing out) across the street and stop in for a drink. Although this time one drink did not turn into many, it did turn into a long night.
My friend is one of those guys who can be very charming when he wants to be…and that night, he was. H and I ended up staying until closing, when, he offered to drive me home. Since H lives about five minutes from the restaurant and, my friend lives extremely close to me, I took him up on his offer to drive me home. Of course, I knew that I wasn’t going to end up back at my place at a decent hour…that is the downfall of hanging out with him.
After we dropped off one of his coworkers, who lives surprisingly close to my place, he drove right past my block to a neighborhood pub that wasn’t too far away, to meet up with a friend of his that I hadn’t seen in a long time. The pub is literally in walking distance from my apartment and at the corner of the block where my bus drops me off on my way home. At that point it was already pretty late, so I decided to stay out a little longer.
His friend ordered me some weird (but strong) drink, and the three of us were laughing and joking around…I think that aside from us there was maybe one or two other patrons occupying the bar, so, we were the life of it. His friend put some music on and at some point my friend grabbed my hand, dragged me away from the bar and we started dancing to an old Sinatra song. When the song was over, we walked back to our drinks. Then, Frankie Valli”s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” came on, and instantly I was engulfed with memories.
I had gotten the flu once, when I was a teenager. It was a time where my parents had really been into renting movies (or, when everyone had been). I remember they came back home with a few movies, one of them being Conspiracy Theory which starred Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts. Now, I was a huge fan of both (and still am, although I haven’t seen Mel Gibson in a movie for years), but that wasn’t why I liked the movie. There’s one scene where, Mel Gibson’s character is sitting in his car with binoculars pointed up at the window of Julia Roberts’ character’s apartment. She’s running on a treadmill, mouthing words to some song. Mel Gibson plays around with the radio station while watching her mouth move and finally comes across the song. It’s Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” From then on I became obsessed with the movie and, every time my parents would go to the video store, I would insist upon them renting Conspiracy Theory. It got to the point where my dad finally gave up and came home with it for me one day. He had bought it. I still have it too, although it is on VHS, and sadly, I no longer own a functioning VHS player…perhaps I should get it on DVD.
Years later, I had told this to my friend’s mother…or rather, I had told her that I had loved that song. For Christmas that year, I unwrapped a gift from her, and carefully hidden inside what was clearly a shirt box, was a Frankie Valli cd featuring the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.” I was truly touched by this.
I had completely forgotten both of those moments, and the song, until I was standing in that bar last week. It really is incredible what kind of memories a song can stir up. Needless to say that after I left the bar and walked home that night, I searched my cd collection, found the cd and added the song to my ipod.