I think I was feeling all this because they played 'Flashdance' on the radio this morning and it's been so many, many years since I've heard it. How odd.
Talked to my old roommate in the Air Force last night for the first time in about seven months. It was a bittersweet reunion. We shared good news, and he had some bad news. What could possibly come from this bad news? After I relayed the news to my wife, she reminded me of a story I had once told her about the two of us. We were learning to kayak back in '93...
After watching our requisite training video, required to check out kayaks from the Air Force base, and a day in a still lake practicing maneuvoring them, we set out on our grand adventure. We hit the Appomattox River and were in our gear and in the water right at the first light of dawn. We dressed for full rapids just in case - a skirt over the cockpit, and crash helmets; along with backpacks filled with essentials for the day. The first part of the river was calm and beautiful. We dailied quite a bit enjoying the quiet awakening of nature with the coming of the morning. Deer staring at us from the banks. Despite this gorgeous morning, my companion was getting incresingly irritated, more and more angry as the day wore on. Occationally he would just grab his head and scream aloud in frustration. Not only was this annoying, it was wearing on my nerves. "What the hell is wrong with you?" I would ask. Usually, the reply, at the top of his lungs was, "I DON'T KNOW!"
Later, we broke for breakfast. We found a little island of sorts at a wide spot in the river and stopped there to eat, pulling our boats ashore. "AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!" my friend yells. "IS YOUR HEAD KILLING YOU?" he screams at me.
"Uh...no." I reply.
"I DON"T KNOW WHY I'M SO ANGRY!" he yells.
We store the oars in the kayaks, shrug off our backpacks, and remove our helmets. I hear a sigh of relief. He's staring into his helment. "What size is your helment?" He asks, perplexed.
I peer into mine. "Large."
"Mine says Small. No wonder I'm so angry! This thing has been squeezing my head!" He pauses for a moment and says, "Don't you have a smaller head than I do?"
I think back to our Battle Dress Uniform caps back at the apartment, and the tags inside. "Yeah, by like nearly half an inch." I tell him.
"Can we trade helments?"
....he was calm the rest of the trip.