You Shine Like Stars, and Fade Away


I'm sorry to be such a downer lately. But I'm really not so bad off.

I've been having a really good time and hanging out with a lot of friends, old and new.

I've only had an evening or two at home since my new job started, so that could explain why I can't stay awake in my training.

On Sunday night, Allie and I went to Old Chicago for a few drinks. I hadn't had alone time with Allie in forever, so we had a lot to talk about.

We were talking about babies and boys when she said "The one time I got pulled over . . ."

"Only once???"

The one time Allie got pulled over, she was driving down a highway in the dead of night. Without her lights.

I can't say I've never driven without my lights on at night. There have been times when I'm leaving a brightly-lit parking lot and don't think to flip them on, but once I hit the road, I notice that I can't see the road.

Allie didn't ever eventually notice.

I guess I should tell the story differently, because there was a good part: she did have her parking lights on. The bad part is that she thought if she flipped the switch all the way over, it would turn on her brights.

So the cop not only had to write her a warning, he had to show her how to operate her vehicle. "You turn your lights on by turning the knob all the way to the right. To turn on the brights, you pull back here on the blinker arm."

My first year in Lawrence, I developed several car games; No Gas/No Brake and Let's Get Lost, to name a couple.

Another game I played really didn't have a name. If it did, it might be called "No Lights" or "I Can Make It" or maybe more likely "Peer Pressure."

The object of this game was to make it home before the sun set so low that I would have to turn on my headlights. I didn't like feeling pressured if, in the middle of my drive, everyone had their lights on.

Just because everyone else was doing it, didn't mean I had to! I mean, if everyone else decided to jump off a bridge, should I jump, too?

I still play this game subconciously. Raw is the only one who notices.

I was on my way to Newton to see Raw a couple of years ago when I noticed it getting dark. I kept thinking "It isn't much further. I can make it!"

Then I saw a cop car pull a U-turn from the other side of the Interstate. This was a time when my speedometer didn't work, so I figured I was speeding.

"Ma'am, did you notice you don't have your headlights on?"

Dude, I'm still wearing my sunglasses!

Like Allie, I ended up with just a warning. But I didn't get the operating instructions.

I'm not sure what's worse, being cluless or being stubborn and childish.

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