I have a picture in my head, but I probably can't paint it in 1000 words.
We went to Wheaton earlier this week. David is considering transferring. He'd like to have the college experience--minus the drugs, alcohol and sex--before the opportunity passes him by. Wheaton has a very nice Christian campus and a really decent jazz program, considering. And their academics are excellent. It is a good fit, all but the money. There is always money to be considered. In heaven, there will be no money and no worries about the lack of it.
But I digress (money will do that to you).
Shawn and David and I went to Wheaton together, and it was not a bad trip, all in all. I felt very small, accompanied by these two tall, broad-shouldered, clean-cut men in their leather jackets and blue jeans. It was like being with army guys or something.
(To end a sentence with "or something" is a Minnesota-ism, but I only figured that out about two years ago.)
On the drive home, DJ drove the second to last leg. We had stopped to see Lulu, who shone like starlight on her PA campus, looking stylish in a small-waisted black jacket she found on clearance at Kohl's for $15 the last time she was home. She sat by David in the Mexican restaurant where we went to have supper together, and they put their blond heads together, his nearly shaven and hers with straightened hair streaming down, and they laughed hard, looking as much like twins as they always have.
And afterwards, heading north to Erie, David drove as the sun set on our left, and I lay down in the back seat because I was shot. My head rested on a couple of pillows flung over a cooler full of the remnants of healthy food we had packed to take along. My view was of the v shaped triangle formed by the backs of the leather car seats sloping down towards where they met each other at the armrest. Along each slope ran the dark leather clad arms of each of my men, David's on the left and Shawn's on the right, their shoulders protruding powerfully beyond the backs of the seats. Above each seat rose the top of a neat, regulation-looking head which occasionally they would tip toward one another as they discussed things like jazz musicians and college basketball players. And in the center of the v was the car's control panel, now lit because the daylight was fading, lots of buttons and symbols, mostly there to control the climate in the car and the radio. Centered above this was the bright GPS, and then a space, and then the rear view mirror up high, midway between those two clean, confident heads. The background, the windshield, was a softly glowing blue, brighter than the silhouettes on each side of it, but dimmer than the GPS and the control panel lights.
The freeway bumped and the car swerved a little now and then; I suppose he was avoiding the worst pot holes. It has been a hard winter. I closed my eyes and opened them on and off, feeling like I was in a science fiction movie. The car could have been a plane or a rocket, and my men could have been special ops pilots or even astronauts.
DJ played a recording of some really old jazz that he said I would like from off his iPod. And I didn't mind it. I couldn't sleep, but it didn't bother me otherwise. I listened to the voice of some radio announcer from the 1940's making corny statements about each upcoming song, and my brain tried to follow the notes of a dusty sounding saxophone blowing out long, intricate solos, and the light faded and we passed trucks, speeding on towards New York and home, and for awhile, for a period of time, for a few hours, nothing was changing and everything was fine.