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"Spanish Bombs" was playing in my coffee shop when I walked in on this lovely, bright morning, so rain-washed and clear and feeling just on the edge of real summertime. Walking over from my office I almost felt the city had been newly built, the dirt and dark clouds lifted away with the sunrise. I felt lighter, quicker, and clean like the air.
The coffee shop door was propped open—it was the sort of morning that everyone wanted to let pour in. There was the prospect of tea ahead of me, and fresh, green-tinged bananas, and of course there was The Clash. I'd gotten the album (London Calling, in real vinyl) my freshman year at college. Like my first Springsteen album, the music felt immediately familiar, as if I'd had a space waiting for it inside where it socketed in and locked itself home. Hearing it took me back to hard studying in narrow dorm rooms, to learning to drink, to feeling free for the first time. Best of all were the parties we had on Wednesday and Saturday nights when we danced for hours, and the happiness and absolute abandon I felt moving to this music. I miss that dancing, I've missed it every year and maybe even every moment between then and now. I've tried dancing since but it's not the same, it has steps, it has rules and partners and special shoes. All I want is to join a roomful of people moving to music in any way they want, to move with them into that wave of shared joy.
Instead, I walk back to my office holding onto my tea, and hanging on tighter to that luminous memory come flooding back through one single joyful song on a clear, bright, new morning.