Ode on a Sanyo

Midnight hour. The same song, “The Remembering,” transports me back to winter 1983, when my parents took me with them on a holiday to the Driftwood Shores in Florence Oregon. They booked a suite with an adjoining room for me. While they drank, watched television, and gazed at the breakers on the ocean, I read The Swords Trilogy by Michael Moorcock. I had taken along my Sanyo cassette player with the Yes music copied from the vinyl to tape. It was something everybody in my high school did, and this way we could share music with each other. The little Sanyo was metallic gray with blue trim around the door, and was encased in imitation leather. Each earphone had a spongy orange cover. It ran on AA batteries. I carried my Walkman clone everywhere with me, including on the Band Tour to California that year, and on to summer Band Camp at the University. Just a few years ago I found this museum piece in a cabinet and examined it: it was ruined by battery leakage. Otherwise I would’ve tried to play with it and restore the past to the present— and thereby resurrect my parents, if only in my sottish state of mind. Something about “love’s bitter mystery.” It would’ve been like holding a seashell to my ear and hearing the ocean all those years ago…

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