now playing: stillwater, “fever dog”
“when faced with the past, the strongest man cries…”
dan fogelberg, “souvenirs”
as a result of staying awake well into the early morning hours the night before, i was a little groggy driving into philadelphia last night…i felt like everyone around me was driving in slow motion, and i could feel myself starting to get a little spongy in the consciousness department. consequently, as i was approaching center city, i made a mistake that i’ve made once or twice before when i’m not as awake as i’d like to be going in – i got off on spring garden street instead of at the 30th street station exit, and had to circle back around to get back to where i was supposed to be.
so i was driving up walnut street from well further into the city and who should come walking out into the street in front of my car but the legendary tom del colle…i slowed down and waited for him to recognize me, and he opened the passenger door and said, “what the fuck are you doing here, man?”
i told him i was headed up the street to play with nik, and told him to look up my number sometime, and had to keep moving (since traffic was starting to back up behind me)…so i drove off after just a few seconds of face time.
talk about surreal.
that was one of those things that you could imagine happening more often than you hear about it…you see someone you don’t see for years in a fleeting moment, and just that fast, they disappear back into the rear view mirror…certainly, it felt like something that could potentially happen a lot more often than it does anyway. but i sure felt funny as i drove away.
i remember one other moment similar to that, while i was still in the navy – i was sleeping in my room, and i heard a voice outside my door that sounded just like a guy named mike mulvin that i was stationed with at a previous duty station…and i opened the door to my room, and sure enough it was him. he had his back turned to me, talking to someone down the hall…and i tapped him on the shoulder and he flipped out when he turned around…
…i told him that if there were ever a moment in my life when i wished i could’ve just vanished into thin air, that would’ve been it, just to see the look on his face.
but anyway, getting back to the present…
later that night, as we were packing up, i had my back turned to nik and i heard lee schusterman’s voice behind me, talking to nik no more than three or four feet from where i was, but i don’t think he ever saw me…he never made eye contact with me, at any rate, and he never acknowledged that i was there…and i left without talking to him, because he disappeared not long after i finished packing up.
i picked up spruce street to head home, and drove past the UPENN hospital and the penn tower hotel…i remembered having gone to my first PMC there, and coming out of the elevator onto the roof of the parking garage and seeing this amazing sunset over the philadelphia skyline and watching the lights all coming on as darkness settled over the city…watching the letters scroll around the top of the PSFS building and feeling like i had started down this amazing path…
as it turned out, i was wrong about most of the things i had considered at that point in my life…but i was right in ways i hadn’t considered.
angela (our beautiful HR assistant) included me in their chinese takeout order today, and my fortune cookie said:
you will never regret the present, you live life to its fullest!
something to add to the sentiment from the takeout order from home last week….
someone from your past has returned to steal your heart.
now i just have to figure out if they meant tom del colle or lee schusterman….