Monday, July 10, 2006

The Restorative Power of Journey

I stopped at a liquor store the other day, and the middle-aged manager was feeling pretty low. Her store had just been sold from one chain to another, and the future looks uncertain. And the beer delivery had arrived, which meant a lot of heavy lifting on a lazy, hazy Thursday afternoon.

I hate to see people suffer.

So I asked her:

B- "Hey!"
C- (Long face, joyless eyes)
B- "You look pretty down in the dumps, C--would you feel better if I went out to my truck, pumped Journey on the stereo, and did a burnout?"
C- (brightening)"Yes."

And so let it be written, so let it be done.

I climbed into the truck and my stomach began getting butterflies--this would be my greatest burnout ever. It had to be.
Turn the key.
I adjusted the iPod, and rolled my clickwheel to Music:Artists:Journey:Don't Stop Believing. I pressed the UP arrow on my stereo until it read 32--it's maximum (who makes 32 the maximum?).

I glanced in my rearview mirror; C was waiting patiently, with a grin on her face from ear to ear. Anticipating the miracle--placing all her hopes and fears on the rubber wrapped around my American Racing rims.

B- "Come on, B! Do it for the Gipper!"

Place left foot on the brake.
Place right foot on accelerator.
Begin the 'teasing revs'.
Press Play/Pause on the iPod.

S- "Just a small town girl, livin' in a lonely world. . .She took the midnight train goin' anywhere!"

I wanted to make the "boulevard" (as sang, "boul-eee-vard") know that I had been up in it.
And with that, I drowned Mr. Steven Perry out with the voice of an angel--my squealing tires desperate to grab the asphalt, but their failing tread unable to comply.

And in a cloud of blue smoke, I was gone.

S- "It goes on and on and on and on!"

The manager, from what I could see, was clapping and laughing like she was 16 again, and buying her first denim jacket with her waitressing tips.

. . .and at the Tim Hortons nearby, some men raised their coffees to me. As is custom, I raised my index finger from the wheel in a return salute.

"Journey needs Steve Perry, like Steve Perry needs a haircut"
Take that as you will.

1 comment:

B said...


Perhaps your bro could make this a scene in his next play?

The Innocent Burnout Test anyone?