One of the great things about music is that a particular song can remind you of a specific time in your life, sometimes down to the day. One song that does that for me is “Creep” by Stone Temple Pilots.
Our story begins in July 1993, in between your protagonist’s graduation from high school and his entry into college. Those days consisted of mainly hanging with the homies, driving around and undertaking various slightly illegal activities.
This particular night involved heading out to rural central Illinois in hopes of taking advantage of rumored meteor showers. After waiting for a couple of hours on an enormous rock pile outside of Rochester, Ill., we get bored and impulsively decide we are going to drive to St. Louis.
Understand that this was during the Great Flood of 1993, when much of the middle Mississippi River basin was angry. We roll into St. Louis at about 2 in the morning to check out the scope of the flooding.
And being 18 years old, we can’t possibly grasp the scope of it all. So we (meaning your hero, at least) get our thrills via public urination: I always like to tell the story of the time I urinated into the Mississippi River from Laclede’s Landing. Powerful stream, and all that.
So after emptying our bladders and a period of milling about, we figure it’s time to get back to Springfield. But we weren’t going to leave without souvenirs. So we got the big idea to gaffle actual, authentic sandbags off the wall that was protecting the city of St. Louis from inundation.
We each loaded our ill-gotten booty into the trunk of our friend’s Mazda 626, the back end of which was scraping the surface of Interstate 55 as we drove back home, listening to 105.7 The Point for much of the way. One of the songs we heard was the above-linked video.
We ended up getting back into town around 7 a.m. and then getting grounded basically until we left for college a month later.