Courtney Just Happened

Remember that first song you fell in love with?

Remember what you were doing when you heard it or how it made you feel?

Maybe it was the song you shared with your first love. Maybe you liked it because your parents did, and to this day you hear it and the song takes you on a magical journey through time and you smile…cry, or laugh out loud.

Does that song make you think, “What if…” or do you say, “Those were the days.”?

Weird Al Yankovic‘s music does that to me. Boy, does he ever take me back.

Every time I hear Weird Al, I become about 5 or 6 years old again. And suddenly, I am lying on the floor listening to the radio while I wait for the bus to roll up and take me to school in the morning.

There I’d lie, with my school bag on, hoping for a Weird Al song to play.

I must have drove the Radio Station crazy too. It seemed like every morning I had to call in to Lisa Legs or Gary in the Morning. When they heard my voice, they already knew what I was going to request from the moment I said, “Hello,” in my high pitched baby voice.

Persistence was not a word in my vocabulary; it was just something I did.

Then again, I’m sure not many young boys were calling in—especially that early. All I knew was that if I called and requested a song, they would play it. So of course I was going to request Eat It every chance I got!

It was my favourite song.

 

Times were changing…

MTV was also just starting off, they had MTV news with the big spinning globe and typewritten letter stamps on the intro jingle. I was crazy about music. I’m pretty certain that’s where I first got the idea to want a guitar.

Well, one Christmas, my mother got me the Fisher Price guitar complete with microphone and a tiny built-in amp. You cannot imagine my excitement as I went to work writing my very first love song.

Oh yes. I was in love. I dedicated the song to my secret crush.

Courtney was her name; she was the girl of my dreams.

All I wanted was to write a song and have Courtney hear it play on the Radio.

With nothing but that thought in my head, I plucked those guitar strings until I heard something that resembled music. To be honest, the tune was probably a lot prettier in my head than reality because if I remember correctly, it consisted of the top three stings played one at a time up and down.

Everything else was out of tune.

I didn’t care! I finally had myself a love song!

Except…

My dreams were shattered when I discovered that getting a song on Radio wasn’t simple.

And the girl of my dreams?

Well, she didn’t want anything to do with me. My older sister told me this because she often read to her while secretly gathering intel for me. Turns out, little Courtney was more into Elmer’s glue and macaroni pictures than boys and their love songs.

Sigh.

It wasn’t all a loss though. We did have a moment…once.

I remember it like it was yesterday. Mrs. Fox, our 1st Grade teacher was giving us a Science lesson about the eyes.

Remember those big bulky super-bright Overhead Projectors that shot words and pictures from a transparent sheet onto the wall?

Well, Mrs. Fox paired the children together and asked us to face one another with the overhead projector between us. She wanted us to watch each other’s pupils change size as the bright bulb was turned on and off.

I thought to myself, “This is it. This is my moment!”

Some how, even though I was only six years old, what happened next affirmed a belief I held for the rest of my life.

In the instants that followed, I truly believed that I was going to create the opportunity with my mind.

Eyes tight, I made a secret prayer with hands clenched, all sweaty. Heart racing, I imagined the girl of my dreams in front of me, already. Noises drowned, I heard the teacher call names with my knees wobbly, unsteady.

Then it happened. And we were paired.

Throughout the exercise, all I could think about was the three “musical” notes I wrote for her. No words were exchanged, but there we were…just looking at each other; eyes big, eyes small…

 

Then the moment passed.

And it was over.

I honestly cannot remember anything else about that year. Nor do I remember any more of the lessons we took in the first grade. In fact, the only thing I do remember is that a few months later, my family and I left and moved away.

I never saw Courtney again.

But that day, staring into Courtney’s eyes just silent…I learned something that even grown ups go through all of life and never realise.

When your gut tells you to want something, you obey. And everything just happens.

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