Yesterday I visited my parents to fix something for the RGB-LED display I built for my dad. The thing had fallen down and had stopped working, and my dad missed it… He had made a new housing for it, but there were some things that needed some soldering.
In the end, I didn’t do much — I did repair the one panel that didn’t work anymore (loose ground wire), but the rest of the evening was spent chatting and looking through the etch prints my mom made thirty years ago.
On my way back, I listened to the radio. 3FM is holding a “90’s request week”. There’s much from the 90’s that I don’t like, but there’s enough there that I do like — so I listened to that station. I was on the highway, somewhere near Veghel, when they played ‘Cannonball’ from The Breeders (video here). And I was immediately transported back to 1993.
1993/1994 were the best years of the 90’s for me(1). Just before the beginning of the university year, T. had dumped me. I was a bit down for a few weeks, and then I decided I just didn’t care and wanted to have fun. I reconnected with some friends (most notably O., who went on to be one of my two best men at my wedding) and did a lot of social things. It was the one year I allowed myself to take it easy: I almost had my candidate’s exam for Computer Science, and I did not yet study very hard on Cognitive Science.
One of those things was going out in The Swing every Tuesday night. The Swing doesn’t exist anymore — there’s a furniture outlet in the building now, and in the weekends it was part of a scene that I definately wasn’t a part of. But Tuesday was ‘alternative night’, and we went there every single week. Drinking beer, chatting and, of course, dancing. Every week you saw the usual suspects, and it was always a lot of fun.
And ‘Cannonball’ was a song that was frequently played. And I always danced to it, shaking my long hair at the equally long-haired C. who was there too.
Hearing that song back reminded me of how I used to feel at those times: finding myself in the company of people that mattered to me, enjoying myself and simply being myself. It stands symbolic for the fun we had that year.
(1): Of course, in ’94 I met ingiechan. Of course, that was an important moment too. But that is not something I look back to with a feeling of nostalgia, because that’s still going on: we’re still going strong fifteen years later.