On Apples And Kisses

A lot of people say that fall is a nostalgic season, and I wholeheartedly agree. In my hometown of Harvard, Mass., fall is an important time because it is the season for apples, the ubiquitous fruit around town. Phil’s, Carlon’s, Doe, Westward, and Mountain View Orchards all offer their own ciders, pies, doughnuts, and various other apple-inspired products, along with the standard “U-Pick” options. We used to have the Three Apples Storytelling Festival in the center of town. We’d gather in the basement of our church, peeling and cutting apples for apple pies that the church would sell to raise funds. Because of this, October has always been a nostalgic month for me.

I recently read an article on Slate.com about Creed. The ’90s band is apparently back together, recording and touring. This brought back my memories of the music of the late ’90s and the early 2000s, back when I was moving through elementary and middle school. There was Smash Mouth, with “All-Star;” Creed, with the grunge-like guitars and vocals, singing with a vaguely Christian message; and, of course, there were the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, 98 Degrees, et al., of which every girl in my grade had a favorite member that they would one day marry. But my favorite back then was the Goo Goo Dolls. In fact, my first kiss was with a girl named Loren in seventh grade, and happened to the strains of “Iris.” All the seventh and eighth graders were in our school cafeteria, dressed up for our “Snowflake” semi-formal. As everyone paired up — many awkwardly — for the slow dance, I didn’t realize how prescient the words “sooner or later it’s over” would be.

The Three Apples Storytelling Festival moved out of town a few years ago. The apples are still there, though I’m 10 hours away throughout peak season. There have been more dances, more girls to dance with, and at least a few more kisses since then. But I’m past that stage. I have a girlfriend now, and we’re going on three years together. Yet, I still think back to the cafeteria, back to seventh grade, Loren, and John Rzeznik’s voice saying “everything’s meant to be broken.” It was the closest to heaven that I’d ever been. And maybe it still is.

-Tyler Alderson