Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heads or Tails #65 -- sharing an Autumn memory

Participants in today's Heads or Tails are required to share a favorite autumnal memory. Well, Barb, for a Chicago boy like me, that's kind of tough, seeing as how Autumn in Chicago, like our abbreviated Spring, typically lasts only two or three days, and those few days are not necessarily consecutive.

The calendar tells us it's still Autumn, but the snow flurries and 20 degree temperatures suggest something else entirely. Not that we can really complain: Here on the west side of Lake Michigan, we seldom get lake-effect snow. Northwest Indiana and parts of Michigan above were clobbered by several inches of snow yesterday and, presumably, this morning as well.

I say presumably because, as I was driving Youngest Son to school this morning, I could not help but see the massive wall of snow clouds out over the lake.

Yes, I'm pretty far inland, but there are arterial streets in Chicago that point straight downtown. When the air is clear, like it was this morning, you can see the Downtown skyline from many miles away. This morning that skyline was framed against sheer, solid cliffs of gray-blue. The tops of these cliffs were table-top flat, mesas in the sky. The sky above the wall was golden, a reminder that the Sun was above the horizon. But it wasn't above those clouds. And this is not our assignment.

This is:

We were 20-somethings, many of us married, most of the rest of us at least paired off, but all of us as yet unencumbered by children. On Saturday night, therefore, we could go out.

And this was no ordinary Saturday night. It was the Long Night, the night when the clocks 'fall back,' making the night an extra hour longer. We could cavort well into the wee small hours and still have hopes, thanks to that blessed 25 hour day, of making it to church in the morning and doing all the other things that even 20-somethings are obliged to do on weekends.

Ah, youth.

This particular Long Night was one of those rare nights in a Chicago Autumn where the air was clear and dry and the temperature was still warm. Oh, it wasn't beach weather, but we could walk down the street from place to place with only light jackets and we could stand in one place for minutes at a time without shivering. This was to prove important on this Long Night.

On this particular Long Night, we 20-somethings were assembled in the vicinity of the college we'd all attended. Several of us still lived in the neighborhood. We had dinner at one place and drinks at another and someone thought we should take a walk and revel in the night air. We walked into the campus.

On the north side of the street there was a men's dorm. This was a low-rise affair, three stories tall. I think one of the women in our party noticed it first.

One of the second floor rooms was positioned too close to a street light to afford the true privacy that the room's two occupants no doubt earnestly desired. You see, one of those occupants, at that moment, was clearly female. You may guess for yourselves precisely what we all saw.

We all knew better than to stand there gawking. But, somehow, simply walking away seemed... insufficient. Someone began to sing. We all stood under the window and joined in:
Tonight you're mine
You give your love
So sweetly.
Tonight the li-i-ight
Of love is in your eyes,
But will you love me tomorrow?

Is this a lasting
Or just a moment's
Can I belie-e-eve
The magic of your sighs?
Will you still love me tomorrow?

Tonight with words
You say that I'm the only one,
But will my heart
Be broken
When the night
(When the night..)
Meets the mor-
(Meets the mor..)
-Ning sun.

I'd like to know
That your love
Is love I can
Be sure of.
So tell me no-o-w
And I won't ask again.
Will you still love me tomorrow?
Will you still love me tomorrow?
(With all necessary apologies and credits to Gerry Goffin and Carole King.)


Barb said...

The smile this post put on my face just now will probably last all day. You never cease to amaze me with your memories and the fantastic way you put them into words. :)

I'm wondering if Paradise By The Dashboard Light was out back then. Probably not, but it would have made an entirely different memory had you sung "Will you love me forever?" "Let me sleep on it, baby bay, let me sleep on it."

Barb said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmWRjjpBlWw :)

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It's a lovely song from 'Tapestry'.

The Curmudgeon said...

Barb, thanks for the link to the Shirells' video -- but, Jean Luc, I think we had more of the tempo of the Tapestry album in mind that evening, if neither the tone nor the quality....

Patti said...

I had the 'Tapestry' album in the early '70s and played it to death.

In a good way.

Patsy said...

That is a wonderful story and I nearly missed because I've been so slow getting around to read this week. Thanks for the smile this day.