Today was the first day of the Absolutely This Time I Really Mean It Training For That Damn Race That Has Haunted Me For 24 Years program. Which means nothing to you. What MIGHT mean something to you is that the “Back to the Future” car was parked on the back stretch of the loop.
Had this been any other week I would have chalked it up to another heat-induced figment of my imagination. Except that day Billy Barty doing the cha-cha on the mailbox on Main. I’m pretty sure that one was real. But today was barely cracking 80 degrees because of the Great Storm of 2017, so I was unusually coherent. Which is to say any part of coherent.
4.2 miles (1:11.53 — 17:08, 104) on the Mesa Arts Center loop. I know, I know, but that pace would get me over 100K, and that would be fine. So we’ll see. Maybe I’ll find another gear between now and then. Stranger things have happened.
Stranger things as in a DeLorean painstakingly altered to the exact specifications of Doc Brown’s time machine, down to the Mr. Fusion home energy reactor (I thought those were just made up) mounted on back. It was sitting by itself in an empty parking lot. I was fearful to get too close, given that it tends to attract terrorists with automatic weapons, but I took a photo. Why would someone do this to a perfectly good car? And having done it, why would they drive it to work? But then, why would someone stroll loops around downtown Mesa? I suppose weirdness is relative. Which is likely why the nieces call me Weird Uncle Gary.
I finished up my outing and picked up Mo from the pottery studio. Upon getting in the car, Mo learned a valuable lesson: Don’t put the mug you just made on the driver’s seat in a dark vehicle just before the driver gets in. Oh, well. I’m guessing flat coffee tastes the same.
I took her on a tour of today’s discoveries. There were a community garden, some fantastic old houses, an empanada restaurant we have never seen before and a couple of cool murals. She was impressed by them all. But I told her the biggest find was still ahead, and that she should practice saying “WOW!!!!” so she could react properly. Mostly Mo wanted a soda, but was patient enough to say “Mostly I want a soda.” Mo is a trooper.
We made the loop, drove up to the parking lot, and I pointed to — nothing. It was gone.
I assured her that only moments ago, the “Back to the Future” car had been parked in that very spot. Mo was singularly unimpressed. “You realize I’m not a guy, right?” she pointed out. Apparently the “Back to the Future” car is no match for the 89 cent QT soda or the Malibu Barbie Mustang. All a matter of priorities.
Which now leads me to wonder: Was it ever there at all? I was drinking caffeinated Tailwind for the first time in forever today, and I may have overdone it. Or possibly it was a “Slaughterhouse Five” time travel thing and I went back to a time when it was there and then popped back just in time to pick up Mo. So it goes.
Or maybe the guy got off work and drove home. But that’s hardly romantic at all.
I don’t know. All I really know for sure was that Billy Barty was dancing on that mailbox. Sure, he’s dead, but there’s a time machine in the neighborhood. You never know.
I hope Vonnegut shows up for the next run …