I'm mopping my floors today to the tune of Billboard's Top Ten Hits of 1983 and feeling splendidly nostalgic for a year that I spent desperately longing for something - anything - to happen.
That's what I loved about the movie My American Cousin. By the time it came out I was older - seventeen, I think - and still waiting for something to happen to me, so I felt an immediate jolt of recognition when the 12-year-old heroine flopped down on her bed, opened her diary and wrote "Nothing Ever Happens" in big ballpoint letters.
It starts at age twelve, I think, that restless, bone-deep boredom, when suddenly the back of your parents' car feels too small and the teenage world of romance and adventure is frustratingly out of reach. That, at least, is what comes to mind when I belt out the lyrics to this song:
Everytime I see you, well the rays of the sun are all
Streaming through the waves in your hair
And every star in the sky is taking aim at your eyes
Like a spotlight
The beating of my heart is a drum and it’s lost
And it’s looking for a rhythm like you
You can take the darkness from the deep of the night
And turn it to a beacon burning endlessly bright
I gotta follow it ‘cause everything I know
Well, it’s nothing ‘till I give it to you.
(Most of the lyrics, anyway: really, I sing "immature eyes" and "babe you know my heart is a drum" and then hum incoherently when I should be singing "beacon burning endlessly bright.") Giddy with the freedom of a spring break that I'll spend marking papers, renewing my licence plates, and signing the offer on our new house, I'm finding a certain pleasure in remembering that old ache of boredom, the helpless longing I felt as I slumped on plastic chairs at many a grade-seven lunchtime dance, hoping for life to find me.