It's July 1995. I'm 24 years old, I have a great job and much more hair than I do now. I live in a decent apartment in a tiny seaside town, but for the last week I have been in Durango, Colorado. I spent the July 4 holiday with my mother's family at my grandparents cabin in the mountains. And when I say in the mountains I mean up in the mountains. It's miles and miles down winding dirt roads back to anything I'd call civilization. Water is brought in by truck into a large holding tank and the only power is provided by solar or generator. It's a big beautiful log cabin with the second story having a glass A frame facing east that the sun blares into to wake you each morn. The air is thin and it's just below the tree line. I was a runner then and I ran on July 4, only covering half the normal distance before the thin air got me. It sleeted on me as I ran in shorts, I still have the pictures. It's a place full of wonders.
So there I am coming off this wonderful vacation. I took a hopper from Durango to Denver and I've just gotten onto a 737 bound for New Orleans. Now I love to fly, really love it. My first career choice was to be a pilot but I had not the eyes nor the grades for that. I'm in the tail, so I'm going to live, and I have a window seat. We just took off and the Gs are shoving me down into the seat, I'm in heaven. I slip on the in flight headphones and turn on the music just as I look out the window to my left at the runway disappearing as we circle back toward my home state. I see it as clear this very moment as I saw it that day. The stripes on the runway, the profile of the mountains behind the airport. The music was apparently set to country and that's alright with me so I'm good. Over the headphones comes a song about a woman going by plane to see a man who is just a friend and he's completely swept up in love with her. In that moment, with the music, the butterflies in my stomach from the takeoff, the music, the plane, the man and the woman...in that moment my life came together at this great and fantastic intersection. I realized I was in love with her. Her that consumes my mind and brightens my eyes. Her that sits with me daily drinking awful beer and sharing her brilliant mind. Her with the doe eyes. The one that runs with me and rides with me. The one that's the very best part of my day. I was in love with her, I was in love... with my friend.
I would be seeing her by nightfall, by plane, just as in the song.
I know what you're thinking, tell me about her and what happened. Ah my dear friend this isn't about a her or an us, this is about a moment. A very special memory. "That's so Lloyd Lambert" she's saying right about now. That song is renamed to her first name on my iTunes, anytime I hear it I smile when I see her name. And I'm right back in that seat in Denver. I can see the white shirt I'm wearing with the blue collar. I can see the jeans and the tan Eastland shoes I'm wearing. The carpet was blue. That's how real that moment is to me. I feel that same feeling again. That's a great memory...