Imagined Scene From The Fall

Driving a bland section of autumnal interstate somewhere in Indiana, or Ohio. It’s four in the afternoon and we’re stopping at a rest area, quickly – there are still a hundred miles or more to get to soundcheck. Eric runs up the left-hand path, to the men’s room of the Erma Bombeck or the John Mellencamp Memorial Rest Area, I run up the right to the ladies’.

In the stall, I hear a hurried tap tap tap of heels on the tiles, then a stall door slam – there’s someone else in the room with me. I’m at the sink now, washing my hands, pumping pink soap, pushing the air dryer. The stall door opens –

“Hazel?” It’s my daughter, twenty-four the very day before. She’s beautiful, her hair long and many colors of brown, eyes huge, cheeks dewy. Cute crazy teeth, determined to go their own way (are some people immune to orthodontia?)

“Mom? What are you-” We both start laughing, shrieking, pounding the steel rest area vanity. That’s right, we remember – she’s set off on tour today, with her band. I have too. Our routes won’t converge: hers is midwest, northeast, a little south; mine is west, then south, midwest and northeast.

“I’ve gotta go, or I’ll be late for soundcheck!” we both shout at the same time. I hug her tight and we walk outside, where I watch her run down the path to her waiting van.

“Drink water!” I shout, waving my arms as they drive off. “Eat…um, lots of vegetables!” (Makemoneysettheworldonfireneverchangekeepgrowing) “Drive carefully!” And because it would be horribly unfair not to say it, whatever it may mean – “Have fun!”

Then I get back in the van and we drive the rest of the way to Indianapolis.

Hazel & Ben, MCA Chicago

Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby tour dates

7 thoughts on “Imagined Scene From The Fall

    1. John

      Nice. Great mom, you. “Have fun” is usually the last thing i say to my kids when I drop them off somewhere, or they get ready to drive off somewhere. Maybe It’s the one thing I want them to remember, after “I love you.” Maybe, after a certain age, it’s the less embarrassing of the two things I can say. Maybe they know one means the other.

    2. amyrigby

      See above, John O.

      thanks John. I think that’s very sweet. I was also wary of saying “Have fun” cause that has to include any way of having fun the person you say it to deems suitable, and I probably heartily object to many of those activities if we’re talking about my daughter. But at the same time it means “don’t forget to love and enjoy what you’re setting out to do” and that can be a tall order (sometimes you only realize it in retrospect, cause you’re trying so hard to get somewhere with it while doing it?) BUt still needs to be said…

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