Best & Worst of the 1980s - Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
Another electronically cold ‘80s hit that MTV played constantly during the summer of 1983. In the video, Annie Lennox dressed like a man with short red hair. She reminded me of the Joker. She also had a tiny blood red circle between her eyebrows (I was 11 and had no idea what a bindi was).
The song and video will always bring me directly back to a 102 degree August afternoon. Jeff Johnson and I had gotten kicked out of the city pool for dunking girls. We were starting middle school in a month. We scrounged up some change for an Orange Crush and some candy and sat in the park sharing it.
The homecoming king Brian Jensen had killed himself a couple days before.
Jeff asked if I wanted to go see Brian’s body. Of course I wanted to see the body. I’d spent the previous two days in a daze trying to figure everything out, turning it all over in my mind while I mowed lawns, swam, ate, watched TV. I’d even had a dream about it. Brian had been the starting QB. His girlfriend, Mary, was the prettiest girl in town. Yet he’d shot himself in the head with a pistol. I’d seen him three days before at the pool. He was talking to Mary, who was a lifeguard there. He seemed relaxed and happy, a tan blond god.
Jeff and I rode our Huffy III’s over to the funeral home. We were dressed in cutoffs and ripped mesh football t-shirts. We threw our bikes down on the lawn under a pine tree outside the large ornate front door. The funeral director came outside. He was dressed in a 3-piece black suit and eagerly invited us in.
It was dark and cold inside. There were probably more than 30 people there. Mary, her family, Brian’s family, classmates, townsfolk. The funeral director knelt between us and asked us if we wanted to see Brian. We nodded silently, eyes wide.
He led us up to the casket. There was Brian, an orangish mannequin in the mint green suit he’d worn for Homecoming coronation.
I leaned in real close to look at the small dark circle, like a shadow, right between his eyebrows. It was no bigger than an eraser. It looked like the same hole I’d seen in the video on Annie Lennox’s forehead. I don’t remember anything after that. Except turning around and seeing someone holding Mary, who was weeping, wailing, almost screaming.
My mom was mad as hell when I told her about it at supper. “You went dressed like that?!” she yelled.
Dad touched her shoulder. She looked lost for a second. I didn’t understand and she didn’t push it.