Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Was Ready For The World In 1984


In the past two months my past has jumped up to slap me in my face more than a few times. A girl I hadn't communicated with since 7th grade hit me up on Facebook. A few weeks later I was, unbelievably, in a real club at 2:00 a.m. (in one of those, got childcare, haven't been out in forever, don't wanna go home scenes) and a girl walked past me in the dark, turned around, and recognized me from our second grade class, which was the last time we'd seen her. And then, a few days later, I was picking up my daughter and noticed a yard sign for another person I hadn't seen since elementary school who was running for office.

Needless to say, I've been a bit spooked about who else might pop up. And memories of the 80s have been peppering my thoughts, including one about my first "real" boyfriend, Veon. Now I wasn't allowed to date or have boyfriends in my early teens. At 13 all I could do was meet guys on the phone. Decatur, Ga. Strict parents. No transportation. Whatcha gone do? Rely on other people's 3-way, cause my momma and daddy sure weren't fooling around with call waiting or 3-way or anything that cost more to interrupt conversations already in progress.

Anyway, I was introduced to Veon over the phone by another boy, Monte, I was just cool with. They had a group where they played those electric keyboards that were all the rage back then. And believe it or not, Veon used to call me up and sing Ready For the World's "Digital Display" to me in his best imitation of the group's lead singer Melvin Riley. And when he would bust out with a line from their first hit "Tonight", "Oh, oh oh, oh oh..guuuuuurrrrlll tooooniiight," you talk about somebody swoonin!!! And Monte would be playing that electric keyboard in the background. I had my own little telephonic serenade going on! I'm surprised I didn't pass out.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Now of course by the time I met Veon, two years later, we had broken up (over the phone), Monte had introduced me to his friend-the incredibly intelligent 10th-grader Billy (over the phone), I'd found some way to meet up with Billy once, and we'd broken up. Veon and I ran into each other at a basketball game, and don't you know that boy looked JUST like Melvin Riley? I mean down to the jheri curl and everythang. But having cut mine off, I was over jheri curls by then, so it was a bit awkward.

I wonder what Veon is doing today. If you know a guy who looks like Melvin Riley, but is not Melvin Riley, tell him I'm down for another telephonic serenade anytime....

JD

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