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2007-08-08 - 2:52 p.m.

I'm often consumed with how our past meets up with, says hello to, overwhelms our present. For example:

The other day, stopping at the mailbox place and then the Dunkin Donuts on Guilford, I was waiting for the coffee with the shot of espresso when a new song came on. On that hot-as-balls morning, in Baltimore, August of 2007, the new song was "The Heat Is On," by Glenn Frey. It's from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. I did some research. It came out in 1985. I was eight.

And, like a smack in the face, what happened was that, inside my head, it was a four-second wham-up of these things, all at once, standing there waiting for my coffee with the too much sugar in it: the Rawlings Heights pool with the hot lifeguard who was twice my age and completely and forever and unattainable like a tinted-window four-door Mercedes Benz is unattainable, the coconut and sex that's in sunscreen, the movie-renting later from Potomac Video that will be the highlight of my day because of the air conditioning, the Chef Boy-ar-dee pizza from the box for dinner, my older brother's hairspraying his hair, and, in the end, hoisting my little body out of the pool and looking down and seeing my little guy--cold and dense and shrunken like a worked-over cigar stub--poking out and barely covered in dripping Jams plastered to my hips and thighs. Sax part from "The Heat Is On" staticky and ripping from GO 106, I pinch my shorts and pull, destroying the vacuum in my shorts, freeing the fabric from showing almost all of it.

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