While I was pregnant with the triplets, Brian and I ran across somebody I hadn’t seen since my college days in Denton. His handle in college was Angel, but his name was David. Of all things, I saw him leaving as we were standing outside the theater in Austin. I hailed him, and we started chatting. We ended up spending quite a bit of time with Dave and his wife and friends, before the triplets were born. We joined their D&D group, we hung out many nights at the 24-hour IHOP with coffee and smoke, and once I was bedridden, we hosted games and movies at our tiny apartment. Dave’s wife liked to take notes during our games, planning to write a book or stories based on them. I don’t remember her name, just what she looked like. When we had to move from our house to the apartment, we had to get rid of three of our cats, and Dave and his wife took one.
That period was the last happy, friendly time I remember for many years. I remember watching Star Wars, playing Star Wars video games, watching Merlin and similar movies, staying up so incredibly late at the IHOP just drinking endless cups of coffee and talking about games and improbable scenarios, like the railgun to launch a frog to the moon. Pizza and ice cream and chips and raiding dungeons, just hanging out with friends.
Most of our friends disappeared after the triplets were born, and we haven’t been in touch since, but Dave’s wife gave me a cassette she made beforehand. It was a homemade compilation, with songs from a local a cappella minstrel group along with various other songs from lots of places. It was all the kind of music that you could sing along with, dance with, or go to sleep with. I played that tape so many times, in the NICU, when the babies came home, while I pumped, while I was up at all hours of the night alone with three babies. I eventually lost the tape. I think it was destroyed by a child somewhere along the way. I didn’t have a list of the songs on it, so it was completely lost.
Every once in a while, I hear a song, and suddenly my breath catches as I recognize it from that baby tape. The music takes me back to that time as I sing along, and I rush to check whatever source I’m listening to for the artist and song title, so I can find it again and keep it forever. Today, it happened as I came out of the shower, listening to Middle Earth radio. The song was “Ocean Gypsy” by Blackmore’s Night…and one more song comes back home to me.