Pavlovian Response to Crash

When I was 15 and Uri was 17, we spent two weeks in June at Squam, essentially on our own. It was the week of and the week immediately following the Laconia Biker Week, which we largely ignored. The weather was idyllic, and we cooked two or three meals a day on the new griddle that Jain had picked up for Squam that spring. We had very little money, and we cut corners and ate a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches and the like, and frankly I’ve never had any taste so good as those. For pretty close to the entirety of those two weeks, Crash by Dave Matthews Band was playing on the stereo. We only had the tape of it, which meant that halfway through the album, one of us had to get up and flip it over in the stereo.

Which we did, even at night, as more often than not, we simply crashed on the couches in the living room, the ceiling fan spinning and the evening breeze rolling through the open porch doors. We spent hours just reading and whiling away the time, and at sunset, the sun would reflect off the lake and onto the ceiling, creating this golden shimmer. And through all of it, Crash would play, with the exceptions of when we went out for groceries, or to the movies (we watched Fifth Element in an empty theatre the week after Biker Week), or to go laze about in the lake that had already warmed up enough to merit lazing about in. It was a really fantastic time, and I envy the simplicity of it.

I don’t listen to Crash much anymore, but every once in a while, a song or two ends up in my playlist, and that’s where the title of this post comes in. It’s pavlovian. My mood, my physical sensation calls back to those weeks at Squam, with the cold floor in the kitchen walking barefoot and enjoying the feeling of it, just the atmosphere around me suddenly shifts to Squam. I can’t help but think of it, it’s automatic. I’ve been conditioned.

And that’s alright.

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