Ten years ago, give or take a week, I flew to Los Angeles on one of the first commercial flights post-9/11 to see my boyfriend and Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. Airport security was strange and frightening, and for the first time ever Will did not meet me at the gate, but in a remote parking lot they bused us to. He and I had only been un-broken-up for a couple of months, but I felt an intense sense of togetherness and was weary of the 2200 miles between Chicago and LA.
The Auto Club show was amazing. Will had never seen them before; I had seen them twice, which in no way diminished my enjoyment.
After the show, we said hi to the secondary front man, Munly. He recognized me and said, “What are you doing here?” I explained that I lived in Chicago, where we’d met before, and my boyfriend lived here.
“No,” he told me. “You can’t be so far apart.”
That was September, 2001. In March, 2002, I quit my job and flew to Los Angeles. In July I flew back to Chicago and packed all of my things into a truck. Will flew out to meet me and we drove the truck to LA. In September, 2003, we got engaged, and in October 2004 we were married. Now we have two children and we still love the Auto Club.
Last month, almost ten years to the day, we saw Slim Cessna’s Auto Club play for the first time since Munly told us to stop living apart. When we walked into the club, he and Slim were sitting at the bar. Munly stared at me. After the show, Will and I went over to buy their latest CD. Munly said he’d known we were there to see them, even though we’d arrived so early. I wanted to tell him the story I’ve just written down, but it was late and I was tired and although he’d recognized a kindred spirit when we’d walked in, he didn’t remember us from ten years ago.
But part of me thinks maybe he did. I should have told him.