Today is one of those first days of spring that takes me back to the halcyon days of yesteryear.
When MG's and Austin Healys were still on the road, not in auto museums.
When I was limber enough to climb into the tiny little place behind the bucket seats.
And my buddy Barnes would call me up and say, "Hey, let's go for a drive."
Then he'd swing by my apartment with one of his friends. I'd jump -- yes I could jump back then -- into that crawl space and get comfortable sideways, and we'd tool around all afternoon in his little sports car, driving nowhere and everywhere.
Letting the wind turn my hair into a wreck. Feeling the sun on my face for the first time since, well, since Halloween. Stopping at a Dairy Queen for a sundae or a cone. Going to the forest preserves and taking a walk. Sitting on top of one of the picnic tables.Telling stories about the last time we did this. Then yelling "Shotgun" so I could ride up front on the way home.
Barnes is probably driving a big old BMW now. What with a wife and family and all. I should talk, I've got a Jeep. It has a moonroof at least. So I can pretend it's a convertible. Get a hot dog from Little Louie's, drive to the forest preserve, and sit on one of the picnic tables by the lagoons again for lunch.
Of course, I wouldn't be having these pangs of nostalgia if I had just married the guy. We could have made sure we kept his old sports car running so we could take it out of storage and drive it around on early spring days like this.
But he introduced me to a friend of his and I married that guy instead. They still work in the same law firm together. What the heck, I'm going to give Barnes a call and remind him we were young once.
I'll just leave a message in his voicemail.
Well, that was interesting. I forgot about law firms. They have real people who answer phones. "Mr. Barnes secretary." I had to request his voicemail. Usually you have to request a real person. Anyway, I left a message.
"Hey, Barnes, it's me, Linklater -- what's his name's first wife. Wanna take the MG out for a spin?"
I didn't leave my number. I don't expect him to call me back. I just wanted to kick start his trip down memory lane on this lovely day.
Like mine was.