I was driving home from Boston with my younger son today. We had spent the previous day in Roxbury MA at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center for and AAU basketball tournament. We had his iPod plugged in and jacked up. My son was almost fully reclined in the passenger seat, the window rolled up and the sun warming his face; he was teetering between wakefulness and sleep when the Sultans of Swing came on.
I was never a huge Dire Straits fan growing up – I mean, I liked them well enough, but I didn’t love them; but in my opinion that song comes as close to a perfect song as musically possible. Everything about it seems perfect to me – and I am not sure why. Whenever I hear it, I am transported back in time; and I do not mean in a general sense. I mean I am transported to a very specific memory of me driving my car, turning right from Union Street on to East Main road in Portsmouth RI, on a bright sunny day listening and marveling at how good a song that was. That was in 1979, 34 years ago – and the memory remains crystal clear for some reason. When I hear that song, I remember the warmth I felt from the sun that day; I remember greenness of the trees against the blueness of the sky as vividly as if I were experiencing them in the present.