Random thoughts, settings, characters, situations, perhaps leading somewhere

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Snapsongs: “Come Together” by the Beatles

Sunday 6 April 2014 - Filed under Snapsongs

A quick snippet: senior year in high school. A milling mass crowded into a cul-de-sac of blue steel lockers, some intent on getting their books and packs for the next class, some proceeding more leisurely. Lunchtimes were staggered in my school, with the student body split between early A Lunch and later B Lunch. There was always nervous anticipation whenever new semester schedules were posted, because your assigned lunch would inadvertently choose your social scene for the next four months.

My particular passel of lunchtime cohorts that day, a fine set of young gentlemen if there ever was one, were hanging out in front of the locker set, shooting the shit and watching people pass by in the hallway.  In between grab-assing, dominance jockeying and cutting up, we trying to figure out where we wanted to go to eat. Usually people voted for Sonic, the hamburger joint just across the freeway which was, in fact, one of the most profitable franchises of that brand nationwide. Taco Bell and Dairy Queen were also favorites, but some of us were becoming more adventurous. A local Chinese food place, The Golden Rice Bowl, had also seen its fortunes turn for the better when a group of us had discovered its cheap fried rice lunch specials and began spreading the word.

My memory is kinda hazy about how the term popped up — you always remember the aftermath, not the trigger event — but someone used the word “coalesce” in conversation. One of the people on the periphery, a young female friend, said, “Wait, what does ‘coalesce’ mean?” Eyebrows raised around the group. This was the Science Academy, we were all smartass punks who had vocabularies too big for our mouths. Really? You don’t know what “coalesce” means? Attempting to educate the unfortunate soul, one of my friends replied, squeezing his hands together in a circular fashion, “It means to condense or to collapse, you know, to come together.”

It never makes sense if you’re not part of it, but a lightning round of glances passed between all of us at the enunciation of that final phrase, and, to a man, our voices raised to sing the chorus of the song referenced in the title of this essay:

Co-a-LEH-ESS, right now–
Over me.

The entire group, including the girl who had sparked the whole thing, dissolved into helpless laughter. To this day, that is how I like to sing the song, whenever it comes up in my hearing. I’d like to thank the rest of my high school gang for giving me a little filip of a smile every time Lennon et al. comes grooving up slowly.

2014-04-06  »  Edward Semblance