Sunday, March 06, 2016

Who You Jivin' with that Cosmic Debris?

The late 80's, for me, were typified by one particular day in May.... and for some reason I keep going back to it in my head. I think because what I was feeling at the time - sudden upheaval in my family, the bottom dropping out in so many ways, and no real idea of how to move forward - was encapsulated in one afternoon that came at me straight out of negative space. I'd been taking classes at a hot, stuffy, cavernous building in Hopkinton. Some sort of insurance classes - like that was going to fix anything... though I guess it was better than nothing at that point. And the final hours of the final day of this particular session of classes seemed to drag on for ever. When class finally ended, I walked out to my Jeep.  I said a quick goodbye to my classmate, Bernadette, and got in the Jeep - top down, nice day, no obligations for a few hours. I should have felt great, but all I felt was this gray deadness. Hopkinton seemed weirdly deserted. The air was heavy and still. I played a cassette someone had given me. Some guy named Charlie Peacock. The music was a little one-dimensional and none of it held together that well. If cellphones had existed at the time it would have been a perfect time to call friends and find a bar, but that sort of connectivity hadn't entered our lives yet. It's thirty years later, but I will never forget the feeling I had that afternoon. Couldn't shake it. I think when Steven King writes about the deadness of the out-of-time Bangor Airport in The Langoliers he was unknowingly talking about that afternoon in Hopkinton.


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