Day 7: A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event – Morrissey’s Come Back to Camden.
I had two weeks off from work, a bored 2 ½ year old daughter, a perfectly reliable car, and a very spontaneous gut feeling that was telling me to pack my bags and head north. So at 9:30 one night, I loaded up the suitcases and strapped the baby in the car seat. We were on our way to Southern Maryland.
We arrived the next day around 4:30 in the afternoon and spent a week driving around the county, visiting the Bob Evans restaurant every day (So what? Elle loved the M&M pancakes that I could order for her morning, noon, and night!), and visiting with old friends. It was wonderful.
A week later, I was heading home but first I needed to get to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to meet my folks who were driving back to Florida from their trip to Wisconsin. I passed the last section of Maryland that I would see for many, many years and I began to cry. As much as I hated the place as a teenager, I realized it was home and I wasn’t quite ready to leave home. My friends were still there.
As I made my way up to the toll booth to cross over the 301 bridge into Virginia, this song played on my car stereo. Come Back to Camden soon became Come Back to Calvert or Waldorf or Clinton or any other town from my younger, more irresponsible days. I didn’t feel I had any reason to return to Florida. I pulled up to the toll booth and paid my $3.00, sniffling and snotty and not looking forward to a 12-hour drive south. Plus I couldn’t stop looking in my rear-view mirror.
So while my friends and I grew up together, I still wish, in that innocent and childish way, that we could all grow old together. In our own way, I guess we are doing that. And I hope to cross that same 301 bridge next summer…I’ll see you all soon, but not soon enough.