Flashback Friday Moment of The Week: 4/28/2017

by Just Juan

On the train ride into DC this morning, I was listening to the Juan Thomas Presents…Get With Me playlist. The 2nd track in the shuffled playlist was one that immediately took me back to a very specific rainy night in Tokyo. It was one of the tracks that played during a seminal moment in my life. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: Lloyd’s “Valentine”.

How I first came across this moment? I first came across the track on June 1, 2007 during my Fussa debut. While getting familiar with the SEIYU at Fussa Station, I was lollygagging in the electronics section. That’s when I came across their selection of urban music from different countries. There were a couple of albums, in particular, that I had not seen in any store Stateside in the lead-up to my departure for Japan: Amerie’s Because I Love It and Lloyd’s Street Love. I took a listen to both of them. On neither album were there 3 tracks I liked…the prerequisite for buying an entire album. However, I did like “Gotta Work” from Amerie’s album and “Valentine” from Lloyd’s album. I jotted down both tracks in my pocket notepad and kept it moving.

What it meant to me then? At the time of that first listen, I was sort of still reeling from a traumatic event, which precipitated the end of an ugly relationship. I was feeling really burned by the concept of love and when I felt that way, I often went back to reflecting on what was my only experience in true love at the time: my relationship with Valorie Drew. There were certain lyrics from the track that reminded me of that particular relationship, particularly the bridge. As time wore on, the track found major rotational play in my Windows Media Player and became a staple in the Juan Thomas Presents…Get With Me playlist. As I noted in the open to this post, it was one of the tracks that played on that rainy night in September 2008. It carried a lot of special significance because of that.

What it means to me now? I don’t play the track as often as I did during the 2007-2013 stretch. In fact, the play count of the track on my current PC is only 8. That’s because I really don’t play it unless I need a very particular sound when I’m writing deep love poetry…the kind that galvanizes and hurts at the same time. Now that I’m far removed from the Lost Decade of Dating, I’m not as deep with the scribes anymore. Nevertheless, “Valentine” is still a special track to me. In fact, I think I’ll play it on repeat the next 20-25 minutes while I’m writing today’s entry in Triumphs & Tribulations XVII.

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