at 3 a.m. (that domain where all great truths lie), in the midst of a severe overdose of cheap red wine and expensive chocolate eggs, i realized: we’ve been had again.
none of it was making sense. why did huffamoose keep coming up on my runs? what was my subconscious trying to tell me? why wouldn’t i listen?
as things spin out of control and the oxygen mask drops from the overhead compartment, i keep trying to figure out why. i had a suspicion, so i wrote jami. what time did you leave? i needed an exact date. all she had was a maybe year. um, 1997, she guessed. why? i didn’t want to say, so i told her no bigs, don’t worry about it. she wrote back later, having just remembered that princess diana died not too long after. august 1997. so a little before that. and then i knew the answer.
from there it was just a matter of looking up the album. huffamoose’s “we’ve been had again.” it came out on june 17, 1997. of course, 1997. all this time, i had been listening to the wrong album, 2000’s “i wanna be your pants.” a fine record, but it did not hold the answer. i suppose i was listening to it obsessively for months now in search of something not even there. the summer of 1977. i lived with this album. a tiny life raft in a plastic case. all these years later, it was calling me collect. i just needed to pick up.
five minutes later through the wonders of itunes, i had the album again. a trip back to a place i’m not sure i want to go. sometimes on a long run you follow the ribbons and hope they lead eventually to the finish line. it never always gets worse.
a worried jami called later. to talk! on the phone! just like the pioneers did! she nervously joked that i must be writing her obit, but then wanted to know, um, seriously. what i was up to? nothing, i assured her. you’re getting dark lately, she said. note to self: find headlamp. that’s the problem with 1,800 miles. no nuance.
it was just another day in my life. i have no idea why i’m supposed to go there now. i suppose life would be less interesting if it made sense.
where from here? a dark room, another bottle of cabernet sauvignon. headphones and a popsicle. granola and sudafed. hayduke lives! a memory i didn’t know i’d forgotten. one i’m not sure i want to remember. george clinton and a handful of peppermints. an airport and a bottle of tequila. if i thought it mattered i’d write a song about it.
better running through chaos and cadbury i suppose. a birthday wish. blow those candles out. i think i found my enigma. what to do with it?
run. run like hell. never stop running. you only have to stay one step ahead of the memory. just another run. …