So far, spring’s a total disappointment. Gray, rainy, cold, and dismal. Today’s a chilly 48º and I have goosebumps the size of kneecaps. My hands are huddled around my coffee cup, seeking warmth.
Of course, after the brutal, prolonged winter we had, 48º is positively tropical. I’m not scraping ice and my breath doesn’t appear in plumes. The world around me is green once again, with leaves and grass and birdsong, the usual signs of life. Albeit nippy.
That could be a blessing. There was a day last week, one of those perfect ones with bright sunshine and endless blue sky and 84 delightful degrees, that unleashed something in me I hadn’t experienced in a long, long, l-o-n-g time. If I remember right it’s called exuberance. Or exhilaration. Or bliss. Something along those lines. And it spooked me; I suspected a neurological episode.
See, when I left work, the warm sunshine hit me like a drug, a hallucinogen. Seriously. My heart soared; I felt younger, stronger, taller, smarter, prettier. I jumped in the car, rolled down the windows, opened the sunroof, and sped away into a glorious afternoon. This is a Beach Boys kind of day, I thought, except I was in an Alice Cooper “School’s Out” mood. I popped in a CD and cranked it up. Loud.
I stopped at the bank. I stopped at the gas station, the grocery store. Everywhere I went, I violated a noise ordinance. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, Van Halen, Robert Plant, Queen thundered happily from the car. It was a trip. Until I found myself playing air drums at a stoplight: I felt ridiculous. I’m way too old for that stuff. I stole a look at the car beside me, where three women of a similar age watched in open-mouthed dismay as “Forever Man” boomed across the intersection.
I snapped back to my senses; ohmygod, what’s come over me, I wondered? This isn’t me, this is deranged. I’m channeling Grace Slick. At that, I stopped with the drumming, put my hands back on the steering wheel, and faced straight ahead willing the damn light to change. Then “Forever Man” turned into “Hot for Teacher” and all semblance of propriety flew out the window with the music. Screw it, I reasoned, my dignity’s already gone. And I drummed on down the road.
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