Have you ever just been in the zone? Ya know, one of those times when you're so focused on a particular task that you don't even realize what is happening around you. You're like a zombie, unable to think about anything except your craving for human flesh.
That was me Saturday night (well, metaphorically anyway), following the lights of the U-Haul in front of me as we travelled from Richmond, VA to Lowville, NY. We had been on the road since 3:30. It was 11. We still had about 4 hours to go. I was tired of driving, unable to focus on anything but the tail lights in front of me, and beginning to allow my mind to wander. My eyelids were slowly descending. I was beginning to feel a little bit too comfortable.
I started to worry that I might fall asleep and end up in the ditch on the side of the road. I took a big drink of my Pepsi Max and turned the radio back on. I had turned it off out of frustration when Syracuse fumbled on their own 4 yd line, but now I needed it to help me stay awake. I checked the AM dial for a football game worth listening to, then realized that college football sucks. So I turned it to the FM dial looking for some music.
Country or Christian Rock ... Ugh.
I found a country station that I felt was promising, sang along with Kenny Chesney and George Strait, and then was subjected to the worst song I've ever heard in my life - "Soldiers & Jesus" by James Otto. The chorus: "God only knows where we'd be without soldiers and Jesus."
After about a minute and a half of that redneck rhapsody, I was fed up enough to try to find anything else. I found a good light rock station playing Gin Blossoms, so I left it there. They followed up with Tracy Chapman and John Mellencamp, some other good songs that I could jam out to. I found myself singing along with each of the songs, 5 or 6 hits in a row that I knew every word of. I was back in the zone, completely spaced out, focused on nothing but the lights in front of me and the songs playing on the radio.
Before I knew it, the set was over. On came the d.j. to prep the commercials and introduce the next series of songs. I didn't want to change the channel. The d.j. began recounting the songs I had heard: "Follow You Down", "Fast Car", and "Small Town". "Bright Lights' by Matchbox 20 ahead in the next set."
I began surfing for another station. I like Matchbox 20, but I find that particular song a bit lame. The next station down was a rock station playing U2. I left it there for a bit, but as they switched from U2 to "About a Girl" by Nirvana, I decided to check on the station I had been listening to before. I switched over just in time to hear the opening acoustic sounds of an unidentified song that I recognized, but couldn't quite wrap my head around. Then the female voice came in:
I thought I saw a man brought to life.
He was warm, he came around, and he was dignified ...
I realized I knew the song - "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia. What I didn't immediately realize is that I knew every word to the song. That soon became quite apparent because I found myself singing along with each and every word.
Ok. "Singing" is not nearly a strong enough term to describe what I was doing. I was belting that shit out. I didn't even realize it until the song was over and I was suddenly asking myself questions like, "What just happened?" and "Am I gay?"
The answers I came up with: "I don't know" and "Kinda"