Wednesday, May 6, 2020

"Does Anybody Really Know What TIme It Is?" (Kesegich)

Working from home. Open a window in my upstairs office to let some warm and sunny in. Fairmount Boulevard visible through the leafless trees. Time plays tricks. World almost feels like it used to. Before the coronavirus craziness. Joggers, bicyclists, walkers, dogs on leashes, babies in strollers (safely separated). Cars and trucks.

Hello, Harley-Davidson. Stopped at the light. Seismic cylinders shake the neighborhood. Its sound system fills the air with song: Chicago’s “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” A present sent from 1970 by a higher life form with a sense of humor. A wink for all of us asking, Wait, what time is it? What day is it? What year is it? – like we’re blinking awake from a pulverizing sleep.

Two-wheeler gone in a roar. Air vibrates behind. Me, I’m still inside the song. I was walking down the street one day. Wait, what’s this about a pandemic? Long way off. Fifty years. Like forever, man.

I look up to see the children two houses over playing in their backyard. The boy and girl are close in age, probably late preschool. They run here and there, explore, share findings with each other, drift into the house and back out again, run some more, shout and squeal. The kids remind me of my own son and daughter. I reach back twenty years to memories of them racing around our yard and clambering on the jungle gym that was attached to the garage.

Out step the parents, who invite the boy and girl close and teach them a dance. Step, step and turn. Step, step and turn. Good! After a while, Mom gestures for them to get their helmets and scooters, and soon the three are off on a tour around the block.

It’s like I’m watching a home movie from my life. There we are, my wife and me and the kids, a young family. Twenty years. Like forever.

Ken Kesegich is a Cleveland Heights writer with a long background in magazines. These days, he works in PR at Marcus Thomas LLC. He wonders if the Harley rider played the song intentionally. Maybe driving around with it on repeat? He’d love to think so.

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