Last Friday night Sweetie gazed at me across the table at Il Pescatore in Jack London Square. He took a sip of his scotch (neat). I held my glass of chardonnay.
“So how are you feeling about it?”
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I mean, I want to go. I want to see them again. But it’s probably going to get all god-ey, so there’s that. But I’ll just have to deal, ‘cause I just want to see them again, and I want to get on with this.”
“It” is the annual Reno Air Races Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. We weren’t even sure if they were going to have one this year. Notice was so short that we were informed, not by a formal letter as is the usual practice, but via a phone call that morning from Anita, the volunteer in charge of all the Box Seat Security volunteers.
“How about you?” I asked.
“Well, ever since you told me Anita had called about whether or not we wanted to volunteer again, I’ve been having really weird dreams. Not really air race stuff, but really bizarre dreams,” he said. Sweetie was speaking of another call Anita had made a couple of weeks ago to see how we felt about volunteering this year.
We don’t talk about it so much these days. Every once in a while we check in with each other. Mostly though, I think he and I have both just shoved it down. It works most of the time. Except when it doesn’t.
Today I’m wearing the shirt I wore that day. He has never taken off the rubber bracelet he got from one of the box owners.
Tonight we will be seated in a hangar with those volunteers who want the races to continue and who wish to be a part of them again.
Tonight we return to Stead.
I already have a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat.