Always Something There to Remind Me

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”

“A song comes on the radio and instantly, you’re transported to a different time and place.  Which song(s) bring back memories for you and why?”

Having one’s iPhone on shuffle, getting through 4,500 songs, every so often Cheryl Crow will eventually serenade me with My Favourite Mistake and I’m instantly transported back to me, at 19/20 years old (I think), and a very brief vacation we took approx. 20 years ago to Sun City, located 2 hours drive north west of Johannesburg, South Africa, where I unintentionally indulged in a holiday fling as they call it.

One that left an imprint on my heart, my life, my soul and resulted in a lifelong friend that, while circumstances and distance dictated we could never be together.  What I was bestowed instead was a lifelong friend that no great divide can ever change.

Some memories will remain forever etched in one’s mind, or random snippets of it anyway.  I recall basking on a rock at the Valley of the Waves, enjoying the African Sun and the sound of the water lashing around me and look up suddenly to see a lifeguard approaching.  A beautiful, talk sexy specimen of a man.  Yes at that age, that’s what we liked. Tall, fairly dark and handsome.  What a ridiculous cliché, but there you have it.  Well maybe not so dark but definitely a nice rich shade of brown or maybe it was dark blonde.  Okay clearly hair colour was not so important to me back then.  But as we grow up, our exterior needs become somewhat more unique.  And I can say with absolutely certainty that today, I do have a distinct penchant for men with grey hair.  But I digress.  Back to my young, irresponsible, misspent delicious youth.

As I watch my beautifully tanned, sexy lifeguard approach, (for the purpose of this post, I’ll call him ‘my Lifeguard’).  I sit up and assuming I must have acknowledged him with a smile or something seemingly appealing and proceed to listen while he engages in conversation.  I confess to having no recollection regarding the particular subject matter of our verbal dialect. But boy do I remember that voice.  Rich, deep, dark and sexy as hell. And a come hither smile. Oh these weaknesses that leave butterflies in a girls’ stomach.

Don’t get me wrong, he oozed charm in abundance. And sprouted all the usual shit young boys/men do at that age to get your attention.  And that was the gist of what I recall from our initial meeting including my agreeing to meet up with him later after his shift … and the rest is almost history.

Fast forward a few hours where we meet at our designated time and I’m whisked away into the luscious jungle that encompasses the beautiful Valley of the Waves for a personal tour.

Fast forward another few hours and I agree to a date that night. And this is where my ‘song that transports you back to another time comes to light’.  In order to meet him at said location, I had to walk through the Sun City Entertainment Centre and during the course of that walk, I recall a song playing on the overhead speaker Favourite Mistake.  Of course, it held no meaning for me yet, but I loved the song and as I was walking, happily sang along, digesting the interesting lyrics.

At the risk of divulging too many details, needless to say it was a memorable unforgettable whirlwind night ending in good bye and exchanging digits, of which I really had no expectations would be used.

Seems I was wrong.

Weeks went by and we both went back to our respective homes and lives in different states and kept in contact. What started out as a one night holiday fling, turned into something.  We made plans to see each other eventually, but kept faithful contact via all other means.  And this is where my Lifeguard absolutely stole my heart.  There’s something to be said for a man who can make up for lack of physical contact due to the damn distance, with phone calls, words and good old fashion hand written letters, stamped, licked and mailed.  The way to a girls heart.

Sadly over the years, we both moved overseas, got on with our respective lives, lost contact and years later, fate looked down on me and we reconnected again. Although for this I am grateful to my lifeguard for being persistent in doing some PI work himself to track me down across the globe and it paid off. And ironically it’s this song I hear every time, I’m literally transported back to that night, reliving a surreal chance encounter with a perfect stranger.  He was without a doubt my absolute Favourite Mistake.

So to my lifeguard, you know this already, but I’ll tell you again.  You have been the one constant man in my life for almost 2 decades and I treasure our friendship always.  Thank you for being there when I need someone to talk to, thank you for not chastising me when we don’t communicate for months at a time, but pick up right where we left off and thank you for loving me.  And I love the fact that we’ve grown old together in a manner of speaking.

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