Lean on Me
When I hear the 1980′s version of the song Lean on Me by Club Nouveau, I am automatically seventeen, with big hair, big earrings and a big ole attitude. But, the tune stuck with me because I couldn’t lean on anyone at a crucial moment in my life.
February 1987. Senior Trip. My teensy Christian high school senior class of 40 was on its way to the Poconos in a sprawling NOT party bus. Even though a number of people were suspended upon our return for partying on the trip, we were NOT partying. NOT. PARTYING. In fact, the hormonally charged girls and boys weren’t supposed to sit together on the bus, lest we act, um, horny.
Our not partying, segregated-by-sex bullet full of repressed horniness was on its way to the Poconos for two days, with a longer, educational visit to Washington DC on the back end of the trip. I’d never been anywhere, and I was aroused in a non-horny kind of way.
On the outskirts of DC, it started snowing. Thick, fluffy flakes. An oddity for us Deep South folk. We plastered our noses to the windows and ooh’ed and aah’ed at the wonder of raining white, slapping our hands in high fives at our luck for skiing weather in the Poconos.
Until the bus died. DIED. It crawled, coughing and wheezing, up a ramp to an interstate overpass and expired. Forty horny teenagers and three horrified adults, stranded in a sketchy DC suburb at midnight. In the era before cell phones or the internet, we sat there for over an hour, hoping someone not scary would stop. When that didn’t happen, the boys loaded off the bus, thinking if they pushed the bus up the hill to the intersection, we might have more luck flagging someone.
Only, the bus FULL OF GIRLS started sliding backward down the hill, our pathetic faces glued to the cold glass while our erstwhile male saviors did everything but push us. They passed footballs and hurled snowballs and watched us poor ladies skid to the edge of a ravine, teetering on the slick precipice like a scene from Loony Tunes.
I knew who I couldn’t lean on after all that drama.
Is there a song that makes you feel like you’re back in high school?
This post is part of the series The Soundtrack of Life. If this is your first visit to the series, please click here for the first installment and click here for the second installment. Thanks for your contributions and insights in the comments. They always enrich this blog, especially in a series like this one.