Let’s face it, Memory’s not a street. Everyone says “Memory Lane,” but even when streets turn and twist they’re straightforward. They’re streets. Either you’re on one or you’re not. A lake, now…a lake, you could be anywhere in a lake, and head to anywhere else. You could casually be making your way in a rowboat, maybe fishing for something big and funny to talk about with friends. Or you could be racing through on a motorboat, trying to get to one particular spot as quickly as possible. And who hasn’t gone sailing, letting the wind take you where it might, and being pleasantly surprised by where you end up?
No, Memory’s a lake. No doubt about it. As proof, I would like to offer Exhibit A: me. Anyone who’s ever been around me after a few drinks knows that I can turn into a nonstop talker, and taking a dip in Memory Lake is always a fun thing to do. Trade crazy exes stories, talk about a shared experience like a trip, simply relive a fun moment in my life – I’m definitely a sailboat kind of guy that way. Especially when my First Mate’s named Jameson.
The other day was more of a kayak day, perhaps (fuck yes I’m going to stretch this metaphor to just before the breaking point. Strap in). I was goofing off on Facebook and ended up at a friend’s profile. I wanted to see if someone I knew way back when was on the site, one click led to another, and I ended up stumbling across the profile of a person I have not seen for something like 8 or 9 years now. Needless to say, I immediately sent the friend request, and we began talking.
It got me thinking of the fun times I used to have back in my first high school, and of the teachers I knew and kinds I hung out with. I sort of let my mind float about, and when I found something particularly interested I’d head over to itÂ (for instance, my guidance counselor at the time was this pretty awesome woman that was a metal fan and had been to one of the Metallica/Guns N Roses ’89 tour concerts). Weirdly enough, if I think about all that enough, I get to a point where I can almost taste the melted chocolate chip cookies you could get in one of the cafeterias. From points like that, I can go off into times with my old drama club, moments at dances, moments just hanging around after school or between classes…
One thing that really stands out is that I never went home for lunch. The high school was all of down the street two blocks, and I had my own set of house keys and plenty of time at lunch (and they let us). But I never bothered then or during free periods. I remember being asked why, once, by a friend. I don’t remember how I responded, but…it was because I didn’t want to be at my house, I wanted to be amongst my friends. Even then, my wanderlust was taking hold, as was my need for independence. Funny the way things shape a person.
In conclusion, it should be Memory Lake, not Lane. And I’m pretty sure it would stretch to the horizon the way this one at Cornell University does: