February 10, 2012
It’s the summer of 1978 and my best friend Michael and I are singing and dancing together to Maxine Nightingale’s “Right Back Where We Started From.”
This was nowhere near our idea.
Our sisters, five years older than we, took special delight when we were little in finding new and interesting ways to make us perform, entertain and otherwise serve them. This often involved Michael and me holding hands and trying desperately to remember intricately choreographed dance numbers.
It sounded sort of like this:
My sister: “No, do the turn now! Okay, kick! Higher!
Michael’s sister: “Hahahaha! Okay, now hug each other! Hahahahahaha.”
The better news was that our performances garnered us access to areas usually off limits to us, i.e. Michael’s older sister Laura’s room, which seemed rather like heaven with shag carpet.
Also, Michael made up for my painful shyness with his exuberant energy and constant willingness to be a clown for the joy he received getting me to laugh.
It’s one of the many reasons I love him. Because he still does it.
As you might imagine, I cannot hear Ms. Nightingale’s hit without immediately being transported to that bedroom where Michael and I performed for our sisters, an array of stuffed animals, and hunky posters of 1970s heartthrobs.
In our 20s, Michael and I became roommates, sharing expenses, dinners, and making each other the occasional mix CD. One song is a constant on every mix.