Last weekend I hopped in the car for a day trip down to see my dad in Columbus. It rained on and off the entire two hour and twenty minute drive, but I didn’t care. After spending the last 23 years in California and New Mexico where raindrops really are few and far between, I relished every swipe of the wiper blades and every blinding spray from the passing eighteen wheelers.
I had a homemade sandwich, snacks and a drink that were so lovingly packed for me to eat on the return leg of the trip, but the sandwich was gone within the first half hour out of the driveway. Isn’t that always the case? It reminds me of the cooler my dad packed for his 3 little kids when he took them to the Indianapolis Time Trials in the 60s. We arrived early for a day of adventure at a sport none of us knew anything about, carrying a cooler packed with two full meals for four. We had eaten everything while waiting in the parking lot for the gates to open. By 9 a.m., the interest had waned and we were begging Dad to go home so we could go swimming in the pool instead.
While changing the channels on the radio, my mind started to wander off, as it tends to do when there is nothing in particular weighing on it. Two hours and twenty minutes is a finite amount of time. And as I sat there alone in the car, all I could think of was how perfect a setting for an exit interview.
You know what I am talking about, the kind of interview some big corporations conduct after they fire you. Their way of letting you know your good points, how much they enjoyed you, and why you were being ‘let go just before they say goodbye.
Yes, this was a perfect amount of time to spend with someone who you knew in another life. Someone from your childhood, your college days, or previous jobs whom you might have exchanged ideas, flirtations and wit with at some point. Someone you might like to chat with now and ask the burning questions that have been ruminating all these years, the what-ifs and the what-might-have-beens? And then have them get out of your car and say goodbye at the end of the ride.
Oh, my mind began to race as I put together a list of people I have known in the various pockets of my life, the cities I’ve lived in and the answers I wanted to know.
I began thinking of people from my past, old friends, former bosses and colleagues, neighbors who existed once but had been left behind.
Two former bosses came to mind, one from the east coast and the other from the west coast. Both great marketing geniuses who made me laugh and taught me so much.
A neighbor from when I lived in that carriage house off of Santa Monica Blvd in LA. How much rent did he pay and was he still in the movie biz?
And that friend of my brothers who always seemed to be outrunning the law. Did he make it really big or end up in jail for embezzlement?
Who are the people from your past you would put in the passenger seat?
Quote of the Week: "I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." -Mark Twain