Most stories are true. Some are factual. This story is both.
It was the weirdest thing. There was somewhere I had to be. I'd tied my shoes to tired feet, took a left on David Street and drove beneath the brand new leaves up towards the evergreens. I'd had the most ghastly dream the night before, and it was hanging around, just out of my line of sight, like a young child about to interrupt a conversation.
The memory of the moment weighed on my mind and pulled me under, just below the surface. I wasn't there.
Tim Hart's debut, Milling The Wind, was on the car stereo. The volume was at thirty. I know, because it's one of my Things to have the volume set to a round number. Forty is good for listening to new lyrics or singing a third above. Fifty leaves your ears ringing. I've never gone above sixty.
So, I turned up David Street with night visions still cluttering my mind, driving towards the bad news I didn't yet know was coming.
And here's the weirdness. The music started to get louder.
I don't mean the music on the recording got louder, I mean the stereo began to play louder. The CD player turned itself up. It was as if the hand of an invisible passenger was suddenly twisting the dial. The numbers on the face of the stereo whizzed through the background thirties, the singalong forties and the ear-ringing fifties, and stopped at 74 precisely.
It was thunderous. And I heard Tim Hart singing, very loud and very clear: "Every man I know has the will to carry on / To carry on."
I couldn't twist that volume quick enough. My dashboard had shuddered, my chest had hummed and I'd heard those words like they were shouted just for me. At me.
"Every man I know has the will to carry on / To carry on."
And I drove up David Street, towards the news I didn't yet know was coming.