Laying in bed last night, I suffered from insomnia. Instead of fighting it, I let my mind take me where ever it wanted to go.
Most nights this happens, I wish I had a court reporter inside my head, writing down everything and every where my mind takes me. This night, one wasn't needed.
First stop, was a camping trip I took with my still-married parents in Yellowstone National Park. We were what a family is supposed to be... laughing together and enjoying each others company while catching trout in one of the many lakes the beautiful park had to offer.
My Mom, as I like to remember her as, holding her son's hand as they walked gathering firewood for the evening's fire. Dad back at the camp with my two brothers gearing up the fishing rods for the next morning's outing.
It was a trip that I hold close to my heart as it was the last one we took as a family. A memory that I always welcome with open arms.
Then my mind takes me to my third grade class and next to a beautiful girl named Pam Day. I haven't thought of her since grade school and don't really know why she has entered my thoughts 29 years after the one year we spent together. It is not my job to question where my mind takes me, rather, it is my job to simply enjoy the ride.
Pam looked just like the young Jenny in Forrest Gump and she was all I could think of for a year. I followed her around everywhere and she seemed to like it despite running from me most of the time. I wonder where she is now, and hope she is happy.
Without warning, I am off running the streets of Los Angeles with 29,000 other runners in one of the biggest marathons in the country. With every step, pain shoots up and down my legs as if I am running on an electric current that enters through my shoes. As much as it hurts, I can't and don't stop.
An overwhelming sense of accomplishment sweeps through me as I lay in bed, just like it did when I crossed the finish line in 2002. It is a feeling that I hope to be able to duplicate on demand the rest of my life.
From there, I am sitting on the Santa Monica Pier looking at the Most Beautiful Woman in the world. I can't keep my eyes off her as I try to work up the courage to grab her hand and place it inside mine.
I never do get the courage to reach for her hand, but three years after that night, I do get to hold it on occasion. I hope I am holding that hand when I am old and walking on the pier again with her. It is with that last thought, that I finally succumb to sleep.
I wonder where my mind will take me tonight.
Remembering Philip Roth
3 days ago