Category: Memoirish stuff
- It's either day 6 or 7. I can't remember. After a while, the days without routine and electricity blend together into a foggy-headed smoothie that tastes like the middle of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" sounds. We're all walking around with grim heavy-metal faces, but all feel confused and awkward, like maybe we accidentally ate some Percocet dusted catnip.
A pediatric nurse shouldn’t have neck tattoos, black fingernails, lip piercings, or anything else that makes her appear sad, recently paroled, or Goth. I was already nervous; my son Silas was nervous, and then Ms. Front-Row-at-Marilyn-Manson, RN scoots in the door yawning. “Oh, sorry, long day so far. You’re here for a Polio vaccine today?” I’m a conflict avoider, so didn’t ask if this particular shot required its administrator to be alert. I nodded, smiled, and shrugged off the ample evidence that she’d been up all night training ferrets with a warlock.
Silas could sense that I was uneasy and added some “oh h-to the-hell-no” of his own.
Jet-lagged and overly burdened with luggage (my mother insisted thay we pack nearly everything we owned), the four of us waited at the rental car counter. My father was nervous; not only did he have his wife and son with him, but also his son’s friend who would be joining our family for the year in Florence, Italy. My father may be gentle, but he’s not calm, and he has a general distrust of automobiles and other drivers. He was the same age I am now, so while I didn’t understand his anxiety then, I certainly do today.
When the rental attendant saw our mountain of bags, he was adamant that only a van could accommodate us.
A few months ago, I found myself in the VIP area backstage at The Jimmy Kimmel Show. If you need to know what that’s like, imagine a room full of people pretending not to care that Huey Lewis is casually hanging out with them.
I don’t think anyone of my generation is necessarily happy that so much Huey Lewis and The News music infested their brains like a virus in the 80’s. But it’s there now, forever, and being in the vicinity of the man who manufactured that neurotoxin called “I Need a New Drug,” is comforting and familiar, like drinking Busch Light on a porch swing while your parents are out of town.