Thursday, January 22, 2009

Time Traveler

It was even colder this morning when I bundled my 9 year old bundle of joy into the car to go to school, the temperature gauge standing at 20 degrees. As is the usual way, we talked on the way to school about the coming day, things we would try to do better and what would happen later in the day (today I would be joining him for lunch).

With a cheery wave, he got out of the car and headed in to the warmth of the school halls, and I pulled out of the school driveway heading for home to put on my face before going to work.

We have an odd intersection with a crossing guard. He has to see children safely across two intersections, so when he stops traffic, it stops for a while. Today, I got stopped and as I sat there, I realized how deafening the silence was with no boy chattering next to me.

Without thinking, my hand reached out and turned on the radio - and suddenly, I wasn't at the intersection anymore. I was in the gym at Leon High. It was 1978 and Daphne P. was trying to teach me how to "Do the Hustle". Everyone else in gym class got it, but I was absolutely hopeless. The only dances I ever mastered were the waltz, the cha-cha-cha and (no snickering!) the Polka. The hustle was quite simply beyond my limited physical abilities and coordination.

Luckily, I returned to my car seat before the last kid crossed, but hearing "Do the Hustle" on the radio was just the beginning of my blast into the past.

All day long, flashes of the high school years would strike out of the blue like an unpredictable thunderstorm. I spotted a girl wearing bell-bottoms. Not the giant bells we wore, but enough. There's a guy I've seen around town that I could swear was my first crush (coincidentally Daphne P's brother) also time-traveling, as he looked exactly the same as he did in high school, down to the sideburns, hair and clothes. If I stopped to talk to him, I'd probably be arrested because he really is a teenaged boy, this mystery guy. And he's definitely NOT my first crush.

I'd promised ZBoy that I'd bring him lunch, and I was in the mood for gyros, so I went to the mall on my way to school to buy lunch. I parked my uber-suave Subaru in the lot and proceeded, professional Mommy person that I am towards the door at a good pace. Only to be zapped back in time again to the same era. This time, I was jogging across Tennessee Street to the old Dragon Room Chinese restaurant a block up from the high school. They had a carry out window and once a week, I would indulge in two eggrolls and a coke for lunch. The smell of eggrolls wafting out from the food court had snatched me back in time. A tall metro-sexual guy was walking past me when his phone rang and bam! Back in 2009.

I have been puzzling over the why of it. Why today? Why that particular time in my life?

I think I finally figured it out. It's the jogging. The plans for a marathon in two years.

Have I ever mentioned that I was once a sullen teenager who did contrary things just for the hell of it? NO? Well, surprise, surprise! I was!

And the incident that keeps coming back to me now was gym class. It was cold and my friend Kathy had broken her foot. For some odd reason, I thought that entitled me to sit in the bleachers with her and watch everyone else run a lap around the track. The class had gotten about halfway around when HoneyBee (the coach) appeared to inform me otherwise.

I was pissed. I got down to the track and started running. The more I ran, the more pissed I got. I caught up with those kids. Then I passed my class. And I beat them all in. Somewhere, as I was passing my class, those endorphins kicked in and I felt better than I'd ever felt in my whole life. I crossed the finish line and HoneyBee came over and slapped my back and said, "That was amazing! Aren't you glad I made you run?" I think I growled at her.

And I never ran again.

How stupid was I?

It only took me 30 years to get it. But I've got it now, and HoneyBee? Perhaps you'll cheer me on from heaven this time. I promise I won't growl at you when it's over.

In the meantime, maybe I should learn how to do the hustle?


PinkPiddyPaws said...

ha.ha.. "Doo..doo.doo.da..doo..da..dee.dooo..... Do the Hustle!"

Bobbie Leigh said...

OMG The Hustle! LOL!!! Still one of the most popular dances at weddings, next to the YMCA of course.

Sandcastle Momma said...

Wow - the Hustle took me back in time as well. That's the only dance I could do LOL
It sounds like you had an interesting day with one foot in the present and one in the past.

Honey Bee must have seen something in you that you didn't see. Keep her in your heart when you run that marathon and you just might end up coming in first!

nikki said...

I'll teach you how to Hustle.

Anonymous said...

I never did find out who "Bus 66" was...

Anonymous said...

as to yesterday's blog. May I suggest maybe the Rose City 10K?As one who ran in my late 40's and now has the wrecked knees to show for it..a little prudence goes a long way, even when you feel you can run forever. Both of us, darling, were built for torque, not for speed.


karisma said...

I never really got into the Hustle or the Bus stop! We did however learn lots of later ones. The nutbush and macarena (that one was fun as my cousin had been over to south America and learned it way before it came out down here.) We were doing it and people were staring and wondering what the hell we were up too! Oh it was fun! Then came line dancing which was funny too! We had my brothers wedding reception guests in stitches with those but we had them all dancing too!

I can't say that Im much of a runner myself! Funny that getting angry put you off it, I am the opposite if Im angry and start to walk and could almost run! LOL! Im too lazy though so I will walk real fast instead!