Monday, September 19, 2011

Night Moves

Occasionally running late, missing the train and being forced to drive downtown to a meeting has advantages, not fully realized until the warm night follows you home, windows open, along Lake Shore Drive.

In a city where there are very few places to drive as fast and for as long as you want, like those available to a suburban Kansas City teenager, finding yourself alone in a car on a warm night with an open stretch of road is quite a treat. And given that I rarely drive, much less by myself and at night, having this fun sneak up on me was invigorating, especially given my basic disdain for driving in general.

But there I was, top down on my white bug, racing home along Mission Road, Kathy in the seat next to me, "Don't Stop Believing" blasting from my old AM/FM dashboard radio. With parents who looked the other way with regard to curfews, we were often the last ones home, watching all our friends scurry like late night bugs to arrive before the designated bewitching hour. "Paradise By The Dashboard Lights" took me to the top of Metcalf, looking at the queen in the lights from Brad's Jeep, the open car allowing too much wind to hear or think as we raced down into the suburban sprawl of lights before us. No finer choice for spying on boys from other schools than "Every Breath You Take", from the cassette deck in Becca's mother's car, at a time when neither one of us actually knew how to drive.

For the very short drive home, my car was full, not with children and husbands and responsibilities, but with Deb, Laura, Peter, Kathy, and Susie, bad eighties music and wonderful memories. That kind of fun simply cannot be found on a bus.

Goodnight Mogul.

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