Can You Run?

I’d never been West of the Mississippi before, I thought.  In fact, before my honeymoon just a few months ago, I’d never been further west than Chicago, Illinois.  On our honeymoon, we’d taken a cruise in the Caribbean, and one of the ports had been New Orleans.  R had been all around the world with his family and work, and I’d never been any further west than Chicago.  I’d felt inadequate and unworldly next to him.

But this time, as I looked down to the brown landscape below me, I was going further west than that.  I was bound for Tucson, Arizona and I simply couldn’t wait to get there.  I was grateful that, considering Z’s last parent conference, that I was going during my (and Z’s) break from school.  R would have to take Z to my sister’s while he worked on Friday, and he wouldn’t be impacted at school at all by my absence.

R wasn’t at all happy about this trip, and he’d made his feelings abundantly clear about it right from the start.  In fact, in the days leading up to my departure, he’d been stonily silent as I rushed about packing my bags and buying travel sizes.  I was unnerved by his continued sullen attitude as the clock ticked down, but I couldn’t do anything about it.  I made a few comments about his lack of support for me and endured it until I could leave.   I could feel all of his bitter anger slipping away as the plane rose higher in the air until it fell away completely at 30,000 feet.

I started writing in my journal about the trip, wanting to be able to tell all of my online friends who weren’t able to attend what every moment of the weekend was like.  I recounted my anticipation and excitement at what lay ahead; a woman named Debi was to pick me up from the airport in her rental car and take me back to the hotel that we were all staying at.  I would be one of the last of our group to arrive, most of them having left earlier in the day today.  I wondered in blue ink on the lined paper what it would be like to meet Rick, what the setting would be like, what I would say, what he would say, how rushed it would be.  I mused about the women I’d be staying with in the hotel; I’d met a few on the Springfield Connection weekend last year, and I was really looking forward to seeing them again.  And truly, a few days off in a warm climate were also high on my list right about now; work had been as grueling as ever, and with the tension at home with R, I was ready for a few days of escape, some drinks and lots of laughter.

By the time the plane was parked at the gate I’d written six pages of wonderings, feelings and questions, fully detailing for my state of mind.  I wanted to post my journal online on the fan club website and allow those who were like me, wondering what it would be like fourteen years after your fandom began, to finally meet the object of your affection.  I wanted them to read it and feel as if they were along for the ride with me, able to visualize every insecurity and happy thought as if they had been along on the trip too.

I walked off the plane to find my friend Debi waiting for me at the gate (remember those days?).  She looked happy and eager, bursting to tell me something as we hugged our first official greeting.  As we parted and I gathered up my things to walk to baggage claim, she looked at me very seriously and said, “Can you run?”

I thought it was a silly question.  Debi was a few years older than me and if I’m being honest, not exactly looking like the type that would wake up early to work out.

“Um, not really.  Why?”

She laughed.  “Maybe you’ll want to try.”  She paused for effect.  “Rick Springfield is in our hotel room right now and is waiting to meet you.”

I laughed.  “Funny, very funny.”  But she didn’t look like she was joking, and her pace was quick.  “Wait…you’re not kidding.”

“No, I’m not kidding.  I had to leave the party to come get you.  Rick and his wife came to our big hotel room to hang out with us about an hour ago.  I made him promise not to leave until you got there.  Now, I’ll ask you again:  can you run?”

“Hell yes!” I answered, doubling her pace.  “Let’s go!”



One Response

  1. […] handle, as more and more club members found out about what Rick was doing.  After I’d posted my journal on the website about Rick’s charity event in Tucson, membership had exploded.  The following year’s […]

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