Sunday, July 09, 2006

Boogie with Stu

My mom and dad recently helped me paint my apartment. The day before they came over, my dad asked me to make a few CDs to listen to while we worked. He gave me free reign with the content and only had one requirement: "Boogie with Stu" needed to be played at least once. He called it "The Painting Anthem," and then he told me a story.

When my mom and dad were in their twenties, a couple of their friends shared an apartment. It quickly became the party house, and my dad and his rowdy friends spared no time in trashing the place. Eventually, the guys wanted to move out, and they wanted their security deposit back. Fat chance. Every ounce of fun that had ever been had in that apartment was splattered on the walls, punched into the plaster, ground into the floorboards, and stuck to the ceiling.

The boys didn't give up, though. They got the whole gang together one Saturday and vowed to clean that place up. They worked nonstop all day to bring it back to par - they scrubbed everything until the place was sparkling. My dad said they went through a whole box of brillow pads scouring the floorboards clean. (I know! Brillow pads on hard wood floors. Men. I swear.) And after everything was squeaky clean, they spackled up the holes in the walls and doused the entire place with a new coat of shiny white paint.

And as they sweated and dreamed of that deposit money burning holes in their pockets, they listened to "Boogie with Stu." All day. That was the only song they played. Someone had the single, so they just set it to repeat and rocked out.

My dad was laughing when he was through with the story. I was, too. My dad tells the best stories. I felt like I was there scrubbing the floors with them... although, in such a situation, I'd more likely be nagging and pointing out the many things wrong with using steel wool on wood floors.

Later that night, I made two CDs for the next day. I filled them with songs that my dad loves, songs that my mom loves, songs we love together, and songs that just seemed like they might be fun to paint to. I called them "Becky's Rockin' Paintin' Tunes" 1 and 2. Each of them had one track of "Boogie with Stu."

I also made another CD just for my dad. It had nineteen tracks of "Boogie with Stu." It was titled "Zep." I put all three of them on shuffle.

Before my new paint, I liked that song. I thought it was fun, and I liked the old-timey piano sound. I just listened to it a few minutes ago, most of the painting having been done for days, and I had a new thought. It was a memory of my dad dancing in my kitchen with a roller and my mom sitting on the floor singing into a paintbrush.

This song has now become one of my favorites, if only because I like the way I feel when I hear it. It makes me happy, but no longer because it's fun, but because it makes me think of that day with my parents. I like knowing that next time I put on "Boogie with Stu," I'll remember boogying with my mom and dad.

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