Approach 40: Take my breath away

I’m halfway through this musical autobiography with just ten days remaining in my 30s. The last few songs have been covering those awkward years when puberty hits and the rush of hormones through your veins cause all kinds of strange feelings and emotions. Perhaps no song better epitomizes these feelings for me than Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.” The song was from the movie, Top Gun, a movie which I loved when it came out in 1986. The song plays in the scene in which Maverick and his instructor (played by Kelly McGillis) are having sex at her house near the beach. I recall seeing that movie in the theater and so clearly thinking during that scene how I wish I could be Tom Cruise’s character at that moment. It was, perhaps, the peak of the hormone rush. Indeed, any time I hear that song (I played it just now) I am back in that theater, watching that scene and wishing that I was Maverick.

But that song represents the end of that era for me. The hormones were fading, high school was approaching. I don’t think I recognized at the time that those strange feelings were finally going away, but looking back on it, I must have been glad to be rid of them and feel normal again. High school ended up being a much better time for me than junior high school. While virtually none of my junior high school friendships survived, nearly all of the people I was close friends with in high school are still my good friends today. It’s strange in some way, more than twenty years later. Most of us have kids of our own and are doing our best to act like mature and responsible parents. Sometimes it makes me laugh to think how far we have come to get to that point.