I saw him running, the man, with cleft chin thrust grimly forward, elbows swinging high and fists forward into uppercuts.
He was in his late 50's/early 60's, with the look of someone who might've once been a captain of industry.
His strides, too, were exaggerated, as if bounding but without much bounce.
In fact, he looked more like a man imitating a superhero (the Flash maybe?) then someone actually running and I slowed to catch his eye as I drove past, expecting to see a little sparkle there, hinting at the performance he was putting on.
Instead, he seemed to be within himself - with a glassy-eyed, vacant stare that belied his physical hyperbole.
"Hunh," I thought to myself, and drove on.
There was a young woman DJ spinning and I soon approached to challenge and beguile her with my wisdom, insight, and diverse musical knowledge:*
"Got any Devo?" I asked.
"That was Devo," she retorted.
Which didn't make any sense, 'cause it hadn't been - but the club was loud and either of us might've misheard so I forged on, trying to rejoin with a request for "The Specials" - at which point, she rolls her eyes, cuts me off mid-sentence, and says:
"I'm gonna play what I'm gonna play."
The record didn't come to a screeching halt, but man it felt like that.
And I thought of the guy running down the dirt road.
What I'd thought had been a playful gesture, had been called out as self-important grandiosity. And irrelevant.
I turned, and with that just-kicked-in-the-nuts feeling, left the DJ's area.
Went back to the table, drank half a beer, got fully distracted, then 2 minutes later, LB and I were out on the dance floor, cuttin' it up.
The good news?
1. The DJ didn't suck.
2. The flipside to being old (and maybe a few sheets in the wind) is that sh*t rolls pretty easily off your shoulders.
We danced the night away, and it was… delightful - irrelevance be damned!
Now if I can just find that debit card.