Everyone wants to explore the world around them, but they don’t want to do it alone, so we make friends. Eventually, everyone gets that one friend that they just instantly connect with. This connection is random and just happens one day and it seems like nothing happened between the two of you. As children, most friendships start over simple things that you have in common with the other person. These little bonds, have the possibility to last for days, months, years, and maybe even a lifetime. These connections between people can be over sports that are played together, a show that they both watched, or more appropriate to me, a similar music taste.
Kindergarten year is where it all started, I met the person that had the potential to become my friend. By first grade, this acquaintanceship was still going on, but that year I got a CD player for my 7th birthday. I was given albums from my father, who was pretty much my musical influence for that period of my life. At this point, I was given the album that had one song on it that would start a bond with this acquaintance for next 2-3 years. I was given America’s Greatest Hits album, and it had the song “Sandman”. From the moment I first listened to the entire song, I immediately fell in love with it. The tempo and the beat were so good, I have to admit that I didn’t understand the lyrics when I was young, but I mainly listened to it for the beat. At this age and time, I frequently found myself rocking out to it and ignoring everyone else in the room, to listen to that one song on repeat.
During this phase of musical discovery, I was in a daycare facility that I attended everyday after school. At this daycare I was very erratic in nature, I was always off the walls and having as much fun as possible with their very strict rules. With all my craziness, I was also very shy, I couldn’t eat infront of anyone and was always very to myself. Out of the blue, one day I decided to share my music with everyone. There was a CD player in the corner of the room that no one ever touched. After messing around with the settings and controls for a couple of minutes, I popped my favorite CD into it. I skipped forward to the second track on the album “Sandman”, turned the volume up to the max, and let it play. The song played for a good minute before the teachers realized what was going on and yelled at me to turn it off, but that minute was the most important minute of my childhood. That acquaintance that I had from kindergarten, came over with some headphones, took the CD out of my hand, and popped it right back into the CD player. Then he gave me one of the pairs of headphones and we listened to that song on repeat for the next 30-45 minutes. At this point, I realized that a good friendship had just begun.
I never knew how he actually felt about the song, and will never will know, because I doubt he remembers this part of his childhood. I could only assume he loved it as much as I did because he told me day after day to bring the CD in, so we could listen to that one song together. I can only assume, that he loved the tempo and the beat, just like me.I heard him humming the tune whenever he was just sitting down to relax. We both adored how the song had a slow and somber start with the opening line, “It ain’t foggy outside, all the planes have been grounded”. We also must have loved how the song faded into an upbeat chorus with the line, “Cause I have been running from the man that goes by the name of the Sandman”. But yet again, that’s just speculation, for all I know, he only liked the song because it mentioned the scandalous activity of drinking beer with the cumbersome lyrics, “And we ain’t have no time to drink that beer”. The tune of the song perfectly related to how our friendship developed and growed. Our lives together started slow and chill, talking to each other every now and then, just like the song. When we hit the high points in our friendship, we exploded into a fast upbeat tempo, just like when the song’s chorus played. Together, we had the best of times, we played baseball together where we broke a window and both had to face the consequences of our actions. We went sledding down a couple huge hills and both ended up getting injured because of it. In the summer, we dug an opening under the fence of the playground, shoved his brother through the opening, and told him to run for the hills and leave the place. No matter what we did, we always found a way to have fun.
Even today, 8 years later, the memories that are associated with that song have helped me with forming friendships and relationships with people. This first true friendship waned and faded away, but because of the experience that I got from that friendship, I learned the social skills to make new friends. Just like how the song brought me and my first friend together, I learned to find something in common with a person, even if it is a small connection. Just like the beat of the song, start out slow, creating small talk and getting use to each other, and when that happens, harmonize together, just like the fast upbeat chorus of the song. Now that I truly think about it, I used this “formula” and it has actually worked and now, I have many friends today. “Sandman” by America helped me find the instant formula of how to form stronger and better relationships. But above all else, this song helped me break out of my comfort zone and explore new ideas and concepts, such as talking to people during lunch, instead of sitting alone in my lonesome.