A voice was crooning in my head, it was the voice of David Bowie. Crooning might not have been the best word to describe it, but it was definitely something like that. It’s a fair description, I thought, I mean he did sing that duet with Bing Crosby back in the 80’s. And, Bing was the crooner’s crooner was he not? – “It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about, watching some good friends scream ‘let me out’,” bellowed his voice from within, rather from without – but within. These words and the tune along with it kept repeating over and over in my mind, not in a menacing way like it was haunting me, but in a quiet ‘white-noisy’ kind of way, if that’s even a thing. Occasionally my brain would take it a step further to the next line, “blah…something about tomorrow, and getting higher,” and finally to the mish-mashed mumble of, “Day day de mm hm, Da da da ba ba, Okay.” Then a rinse and repeat. I must have heard the song sometime earlier that day, but I can’t put my finger on exactly when. It might even have been the Vanilla Ice version, who knows? I often wonder why certain songs get stuck in people’s heads, in my head. Everyone wonders about that at times. Was I under pressure? Who isn’t?
We were well on our way, but we did get a late start on our trip. We should have left hours ago, but as usual we got hung up getting out the front door with this and that, the kids, the dog, then the getting gas and snacks – the typical drag of going anywhere lately. By now the sky was dimming into an orange-blue haze all around us as we zipped along the highway. It was pretty. We were a half hour or so from our destination, and we were making good time. Strings of long thin white clouds were frozen in the western sky against the golden glow. To me they looked like the giant legs of some overgrown insect all tangled up and stuck in the muck of the fading blue expanse. My wife thought it looked neat. She said, “It looks like a bug trying to get out of a fire or something.” I was taken aback for a moment – not by the scene, but by her response to it. She and I rarely shared any insight about anything, and yet here we were in the car riding north on our way to one of the Great Lakes, the both of us seeing cloud-induced bugs in the sky above. It was a promising moment. We might finally be on to something, I thought. She wanted to take a picture of it with her phone. I said, “It wouldn’t take. We’re too far away from the thing.” She ignored me and continued aiming the phone in my direction trying to line up a good enough shot through my head and the driver’s-side window. I kept on, all the while trying to maneuver my head out of the way. “What did Robert Cappa say once, huh? ‘If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’ How are you going to get close to that?” I said. She had no clue who I was talking about.
“It’s still neat looking,” she said as she turned her head away from me to look off toward the east. She didn’t snap the photo, or at least I don’t think she did. “It’s definitely more peaceful the more we get away from the city,” she said, her gaze still fixed on the approaching dark. There was no golden glow that way. “Do you want the radio on?” she asked.
“No,” I said. “I’ve had enough of that already today.”