"Six o'clock already? I was just in the middle of a dream."
She did it again. Please, please, PLEASE stop waking me with 80s song lyrics. It's bad enough that I have to become conscious, at all.
"Do you remember that song?" she asks, knowing full-well that I was DJ-ing at the college radio station in 1986 (and therefore was all-too familiar with that song).
"Ugh. Yes. Hit snooze."
"I love how this song brings me straight back to April of 1986 - back to my second semester in college," she said, more wide-awake than I could ever reconcile with the time on the clock. "Do you remember where you were or what you were doing when this song was everywhere?"
I grunted again. "Of course. How could I forget? I was nineteen - working the dodge-ems - sorry, bumper cars - at the amusement park in Pripyat, Ukraine. I was sharing a flat with two Ukrainians, three Russians, a Greek, an Uzbek, and a Belgian, and we were having the time of our lives. There was never much to eat, but we had more Russian, Ukrainian, and Polish vodka than we could drink, and if there were twenty good-looking young girls in town, I swear to you that nineteen of them were at our place, every night. It was heaven."
"Then, as you know, on April 26th, there was an explosion at Chernobyl. They told us to stay put. On April 27th, there was panic. They told us nothing. On April 28th, an evacuation order was issued. By April 30th, everyone was gone. I missed the last bus out, because I was having drunken, end-of-the-world sex with the only Russian nurse from the hospital who was under 99 years old and thrice as many kilos."
"And to this day, I can see the terror in her eyes as I left her there, naked and alone, with the Central Emergency Government Ministry-issued Geiger counter buzzing away, on that mattress in the hallway, the lights having long-gone. Who knows - perhaps she was pregnant with my doomed fallout baby... I turned and ran as fast as I could, while securing my pants and such, and never looked back. I'm sorry. Listen to me, droning on and on. What about you? Where were you when that song was hot?"
"I... I was working at the movie theater, and trying to figure out how to tell my high school boyfriend that I was sleeping with this college guy, and transitioning from blue eyeshadow to, you know, more of a green..."