A Moment in My Life – Monday, March 21, 2022
Jeannie Yee Davis
One of Daddy’s reel-to-reel tapes captivated me when I was a little girl. It was the only recording he had with both Chinese language and English songs, primarily Chinese songs with a handful of English oldies but goodies that I love. I played that tape to death. There was no easy way to fast forward or rewind, but I repeated my favorite English songs and memorized all the words. They remain dear to me to this day. Each piece invokes memories, feelings, and emotions that transports me to that little girl sitting in front of the reel-to-reel tape deck with my fists resting under my chin, singing my heart out.
One song popped into my music queue today, and the feelings and emotions I felt as a kid were candescent as if brand new. The old events that triggered them dim from my mind. Yet, it’s funny I remember how I felt—how the song made me feel.
As soon as the piano and drums introduce the ever-familiar intro, nostalgia overwhelmed me as Paul Anka belts out, “Put your head on my shoulder.” The little girl in me steps forward onto the dance floor, all grown up in her make-believe world, in a deep purple sweetheart swing vintage dress with black kitty heels on my feet. I place my hand into his. In his dashing tuxedo, my prince twirls me into his arms as I fall into step. A whiff of his aftershave lingers in motion, and I tingle in delight. He draws me close to his chest. I wrap my arms around his neck, and we sway to the music, gazing into each other’s eyes. The dim lights cast a romantic hue on the wooden dance floor.
He holds me in a tender embrace. My heart raced in response. I wrap my arms tighter around his neck to keep from crumbling to the floor. He plants a kiss on my forehead. I lean in and whisper into his ear words only he could hear. He smiles and gently leans my head on his shoulder where I transcend to a safe and secure place where the world disappears, and it was just him and me and our song.
We danced, lost in the music. He twirls me around, and as he pulls me back in, he brushes his soft lips against my cheek. I giggle at the touch of his five o’clock shadow. The warmth of his minty breath turns my legs to jelly. If only this moment could last forever, but all good things must come to an end. With that, he ever-so-tenderly lifts my chin, and a shiver ripple through me when his lips touch mine as the song refrains, “Put your head on my shoulder.”