Day after tomorrow my wife and I fly out to Dayton, Ohio, my birthplace, where I spent many years up until I was in my mid-thirties. This does not count the years when my father took us on the road with him to his road jobs, nor the years I spent in the Navy.
My wife has never seen where I misspent my youth. I get quite excited about this trip and have had a hard time getting to sleep, ticking off in my mind the places I'll show her, even hearing the things I might tell her. We will also take my friend, Carl, along on our drives around Dayton. Carl was a junior in high school when I met him the one year I taught at Vandalia-Butler High School on the outskirts of Dayton. I only taught there one year because Mr. Wherry concluded I was too radical to teach high school students. I bet I've put that piece of information into this blog more than once. Sadly, reader (if I have any readers), I've been at this so long and have grown so much older since I commenced blogging that I fear I can no longer remember what I've put in here.
After my divorce from my first wife, I moved in with Carl, who was now working at the Dayton Public Library, and two other of his friends, Gary and Allyn. Those two eventually married and raised a pet mouse. Anyhow, while living with those hippies, I also became a 36 year old hippy. That's how it happened for me. Carl is one of my oldest friends with whom I maintain contact.
Flying gives me the willies. I haven't flown since 9/11, and my vivid imagination has, on far too many occasions, replayed for me what it must have been like on those airplanes doomed to crash into buildings and the earth. I keep imaging what I might do to escape the crash, how I might divert the hijackers by acting crazy and speaking gibberish or by inciting my fellow passengers into action. O, yes, quite an active imagination. I sometimes wonder why I couldn't get my novels published if my imagination is so damn great. But that is an entirely whole 'nother story. Besides plane crashes and hijackings, in my imagination there's not enough parking at the airport (we miss our flight), I'm on a government list and they won't let me fly, they confiscate my toothpaste, our car breaks down on the trip to the airport (again we miss our flight), the cab we decide to take instead of driving to the airport ourselves doesn't get us there on time (we miss our flight). I also see us rushing around just barely getting aboard our flight, Dollar not having our rental unit ready, our flight being delayed in the Detroit switchover and we get there after Dollar is closed, and, of course, no imaginary flight would be complete without it—our luggage is lost in space.