There is electricity in the air, more than I have ever felt before. I put my fist in the air and start shaking it and then watch as 100,000 people in imitate me. The crowd loves me and it doesn’t matter what I do because whatever it is will be seen as cool no matter how stupid it might be.
But that doesn’t matter because that electrical charge I mentioned earlier has affected us all or should I say infected. I feel like I am floating and it is among the most amazing feelings I have ever had. This is raw energy flowing through my body.
Pure adrenaline that comes from the most natural source- the human body. For a moment I am lost in thought about how that works and how I haven’t had anything stronger than water and excitement about today.
Words fail me. They are inadequate. There is nothing that I can do to make you see what I see or to let you feel what I feel. No matter how hard I try to weave a tapestry of sight and sound it just doesn’t work.
I spend a few more minutes trying to figure out if there is some other combination of words or some song that I can use to describe it but I can’t quite put my finger on it. Just as I come close to solving the puzzle I feel a hand slide down my chest and drop just below my waist.
“Look who woke up,” I say.
Ann smiles broadly, squeezes me once and says, “yeah, look who woke up.”
This moment and the hours that preceded it are proof that life is unpredictable and that you can’t ever say never. Ok, there are some things that you can say will never happen with relative certainty. I am probably not going to play centerfield for a pro ball team or play power forward either. You can say never to those things and I may sigh and agree with you.
But you can’t say that Ann and I would never be together again because this moment and this day are proof that you are wrong. It was a long time coming and there were more than a few occasions where the two of us would have said that you are crazy to think that we would ever be anything but memories of people who once were.
Hell, until relatively recently I would have agreed with you but mostly because I got tired of missing her. I got tired of feeling like we never got our shot and I never got to find out what it would be like to be the guy she gave herself to for all time.
It wouldn’t be hard to tell you a million different stories about the reasons why this was so. Nor would it be hard to give you a different list of the reasons why it could be, but now isn’t the time for that.
No, now is the time to tell you about how a telephone call led to a meeting. We were supposed to meet for a drink and not even an alcoholic one at that. It started out in the usual way. I called to let her know that I was going to be coming to town to work on a story. Didn’t plan on being there long, just a few days for work. We went back and forth and asked the usual questions.
She told me about her girls and I told her about my kids. Spent a few minutes talking about other things that were safe and then I asked her if she would like to meet me for a drink. There was a brief hesitation and then I said that if she could slip away from work we could make it a cup of coffee. I figured that would take some of the pressure off of things.
I told her to pick a place and that I would be happy to meet her there. She asked me where I was staying and then told me that there was a little diner situated a couple miles west of it.
She told me to be there at 10 am and that she would meet me out front. I was there at 9:30.
I want to say that it was because I was cool, calm and collected. I want to say that I got there so I could grab a booth facing the front door so I could spot her walking in, but I can’t.
Ok, the booth part is accurate but the calm, cool and collected part might be exaggerated.
We hadn’t seen each other in years and I was excited, albeit a bit nervous. I didn’t look the way I used to, not that I expected to. Much time had passed and it had taken bits and pieces of the guy I was with it.
I looked good for a guy my age, but that wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to use a term that grated upon my nerves like “good for your age” because it sounds like a backhanded compliment.
Yet there comes a time when it is not. And there comes a time when it is ok not to look like you are still twenty. I had reached both places and so had Ann.
The reason I got there so early was simple. I couldn’t sleep and I figured that it was better to be early than late. And if you know me you know that I run late all the time. It is not intentional. I just get lost in my world and lose track of time. I couldn’t let that happen this time so I made a point to be there.
Ann was always very prompt and I found out that she still was. She walked in at precisely 10 AM. Her hair was still shoulder length and just as dark as I remembered it being. She spotted me almost immediately.
I stood up and we made eye contact. For a moment we just stared and then I got lost. Don’t know if I was staring at the blue sun dress or if I noticed that her long legs were still toned. Can’t tell you if we stared the entire time or not.
What I can say is that when she reached the booth she walked right into my arms and hugged me. It was like time stood still. We stood there holding each other and said nothing.
It surprised me. I had sort of expected to do the quick hug and kiss on the cheek thing. I figured that would be how it would go and then we would sit down. Instead we hugged.
She broke away first, grabbed my bicep, squeezed it and sat down.
“Are you just going to stand there?”
I laughed and sat down. “Sorry, no one has done that in a thousand years. I had to look for the time machine.”
It was kind of a silly comment but she didn’t react. She just smiled at me.
The waitress came over, we ordered and then we started talking. Two hours later we were still talking. It really was like no time had passed. I knew better but that didn’t matter because the comfort level we had always had was still there.
“We can’t stay here forever. Let’s go do something.”
I smiled, “it is your city. What should we do?”
The plan had been to go walk around an art museum and then grab lunch but we got sidetracked at my hotel. I know, it sounds awfully convenient but it is not something that I planned and to the best of my knowledge neither had Ann.
We had gone back to the hotel to drop off my car. Parking at the museum is tough and there wasn’t a point to taking two cars.
I hadn’t planned on taking her up to my room then. Ok, that is not true, I hoped to but I never thought it would really happen.
“Ann, I want to change out of these jeans into a pair of shorts. If you hang on a moment I’ll be right down.”
“I’ll come up with you. I need to use your bathroom.”
A smarter man than I might suggest that I got manipulated into doing exactly what she wanted but I am not that guy. Not that it matters.
What matters is that she walked into the room, put down her purse, looked at my bag and said that it was clear that I still didn’t know how to fold a shirt.
“I am really good at taking them off, but the in between thing- not so much.”
It wasn’t planned. I hadn’t intended to say anything like that, but it just came out. She didn’t say anything, just looked at me.
Because I am a gentleman I can’t provide you with many details about what happened next, but if you use your imagination I am sure you can figure it out.
Remember when I told you that there was a time when I thought that this would be impossible? Well there were more than few where I was certain this would happen again. I can’t tell you why I knew or how.
All I can say is that I know things.