One of my conceits – I have many – is that I still see myself mentally as about 25. My knees usually jolt me back to reality.
Of course, it’s hard for me to say my knees really are a feeling old thing. Not when they’ve been aching off and on since I can remember. At least since I was 5 years old.
An Arthur aside: I can remember taking Aspirin – what else was there back then – for my knee pain when I was 6 years old. Now, of course, we know that children that young shouldn’t take aspirin – it can trigger Reye’s Syndrome, a potentially fatal disease. But I took more than my share to cool down my burning knees back in the day. I was lucky enough to come through unscathed – or did I?
The point is: My mental picture of Arthur doesn’t have any of the gray hair, the added girth and the lines around my eyes that for some reason show up in the mirror.
I got closer to that picture last night, though. Here’s what happened:
Karen and I decided we wanted to go see “The Way, Way Back.” We decided this last weekend when it opened: It was only playing at the Ballantyne theater. We’d never been but wanted to go. We knew you could get your movie with a side of beer or wine there, and we thought there was food, too. (Turns out we were sort of wrong about the food – you could get a hot dog, a Nathan’s hot dog, but not much else besides standard movie fare.)
Anyway, I checked Friday and it was playing at the theater that – if we wanted to, and we don’t – we could walk to from our house. It’s a brand spanking new theater, with great seats and sound and everything that a modern theater has. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it – and much right with it. But it doesn’t have any romance. Not to mention beer and wine sides.
So we took off for the Ballantyne venue instead last night, which in this case necessitates a trip on the freeway around Charlotte – I-485. That’s when the SUV time machine I was driving suddenly took me far into a dystopian future. What happened was this: I got passed by a minivan.
I got passed by a minivan hauling a trailer.
I didn’t get passed because I was stuck in the slow lane behind a grandpa. I was the grandpa, driving in the slow lane (doing 70 but …). And I got passed by a minivan. A minivan hauling a trailer.
It shook me.
What’s even worse was my reaction. I didn’t speed up and leave that minivan eating my dust. I let it go, maintaining my speed, sniffing at the young whippersnapper in his daredevil minivan.
The movie was terrific, by the way.
Even though no one got blowed up. Or superpowers. Or joined an elite team of street racers. Uh-oh. I’m doing it again …