Bruce Springsteen flashed onto the scene gaining the cover on the two popular news magazines at the time on the same week. We received Newsweek, at my house and actually, my mother insisted I get the Born to Run album. I was fourteen, my freshman year. Bruce and my boyfriend at the time will eternally be connected in my adolescent memories.
I listened to "Jungleland", the last cut of the album, again. I think of the fifteen year old boy's words sounding a lot like those- "poets down here don't write nothing at all, they just stand back and let it all be." and "he winds up wounded, not even dead." The boyfriend didn't talk much at times, but like a poet, the words he choice spoke volumes, and his silence more. We were just kids, I had no real idea of the talent that waited to be awoken. He drew great cartoons, but the adults at the time seemed to see him doodling only.
Bruce's album was more than music. His words spoke to my poet heart. I wrote poetry early. I was nine or ten, in fourth grade when I attempted the rhyming game without it being an assignment from school. Every summer, I was going to write that novel on the cheap lined tablet paper from the school. I wrote a page or two. This album was more than sing along songs or musical lyrics, like Oliver. The angst of growing up, that I felt I should feel, lived in those words. Desire to leave this Valley never burned in me. I just took for granted I would live somewhere else. Everyone else did, it seemed. I didn't feel that hopelessness. I lived the golden life.
The kids I'm writing about do have that loneliness. Fathers abandoning them. Some don't even know their fathers. The hope is Jesus in my novel. I had that hope as a kid and still do. Some things are different, but some never change.