The February night

Here in the middle of February, I find myself looking back at a winter 23 years ago -- my senior year of high school. I'm not sure why, though I think being outside at night -- even if just going from the car to the house -- is taking me back.

So this was February 1988. I remember listening to Z95 in Chicago a lot. I remember going out with my friends almost every weekend night. I remember the cold, crisp evenings -- the last ones before spring would finally and thankfully arrive. I remember visiting Marquette with my friend Mike for a scholarship essay competition and an overnight experience(I'd end up going to college there, Mike wouldn't). I remember buying a navy P-coat at The Alley for $10. I remember "Just Like Heaven," "Pump Up the Volume," "Tell It to My Heart," "I Get Weak," "Don't Shed a Tear" and "Never Gonna Give You Up." I remember playing too much "Legend of Zelda."

Finally, I remember that this was the beginning of maybe my happiest time of high school, maybe all of the 1980s. I was feeling confident. I knew school was ending soon. I looked forward to college right around the corner. I was passed all the emotions that came with my parents separating. Maybe most importantly, I was having fun -- fun that wouldn't abate until really settling in at college and realizing how different everything was. And not that my first year of college wasn't fun; I just didn't feel like da man like I did for about eight months, starting around February 1988.

It hasn't been as cold in February 2011 in Utah as it was in February 1988 in the Midwest. But Orion is still in the sky, and the Moon is still as clear through the cold night, and I can still see my breath at night. It's February. Spring is just around the corner.


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