@dbongino https://t.co/xl26yfX2z1 (4 days ago)

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2

Al goes his own way

(originally posted 4/24/2013)

 

Al remembers the hardest he had ever laughed. Funny thing is, not as funny as the incident itself obviously but still funny, he made himself laugh trying to make someone else laugh. It was the fact that he failed at making them laugh that made him laugh so hard.

A song came on the radio that started the whole thing. Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac, to be exact. He was driving and his friend was sitting shotgun. All of a sudden he had this intense memory from his childhood and before he could stop himself he started to tell his friend. When he was a kid he loved to roller skate and every Friday or Saturday night he would have his parents drop him off at the local rink where he’d spend a delightful evening skating around and playing foosball. The highlight of every night would be when his favorite skating song came on.

You guessed it. Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac. As soon as he heard that opening guitar riff he would lose his shit. He’d leave a foosball game half played if necessary so as to enjoy every note of the song as he whirled around.

He then pointed out to his friend that when he said “whirled around” it wasn’t an oversight that he didn’t say “whirled around gracefully” or “whirled around stylishly.” This is when he began to laugh a little remembering how he used to roller skate. He never learned to push off with his left leg so his right leg would have to work doubly hard and he would continually violently veer to the left as he made his way around the cement oval. To demonstrate this he launched himself against the car door with a thud.

While Al thought this was just about the funniest thing he’d ever done, his friend remained stoic. Unamused. Perhaps even disinterested.

Clearly, to Al anyway, he wasn’t committing to the story enough for his friend to see the humor in it so he reached over to the radio and cranked the song up to the same decibel level as a Soyuz TMA-08M rocket during liftoff and put the accelerator down. Telephone poles would appear to the occupants of a vehicle traveling at that speed like a picket fence so you can imagine how the picket fence they were driving past appeared.

The song was building up and Al began to smash himself against his door with more fervor now, lost for the moment in that glorious memory. His right foot was thrusting out ferociously (oblivious to the fact that it was kicking his stone-faced friend) while his right arm made huge sweeping arcs through the air. This, of course, left his left foot and left arm to take over the duties of accelerating and steering, neither of which they were accustomed to and they both would have lodged complaints about suddenly being thrust into starring roles in this particular endeavor had they not been feet and arms. All the while he began to laugh a maniacal laugh at the absurdity of it all.

You can go your own way!
Go your own way
You can call it another lonely day
Another lonely day
You can go your own way!
Go your own way
You can call it another lonely day

He glanced in the rear view mirror and caught a glimpse of Lindsey and Stevie hashing things out in the back seat. He saw the lights dancing off the giant disco ball that hung in the center of the rink. He felt the lump in his throat as the “couples skate” approached and that girl he liked from school was there.

His friend sat there. He didn’t even sit there in any particular way. He just sat there and this above all else made Al laugh.

He was hitting his head against the window so hard that it didn’t even hurt. He could smell the popcorn he would always buy and he felt the Coke he would always spill down the front of him. He could feel how hard the floor was when he inevitably came to rest on it, because he never learned to stop and would just skate off the rink and onto the carpet at 90 miles per hour and physics dictated that this would cause him to fly right by the girl he liked from school and right into a nearby wall.

It was at the guitar solo. That screaming fucking guitar solo.

And then again:

You can go your own way!
Go your own way
You can call it another lonely day
Another lonely day
You can go your own way!
Go your own way
You can call it another lonely day

He tried unsuccessfully to remember what her name was. He wondered where she was now. He wondered how his left foot and left arm were doing because his right foot and right arm were completely AWOL.

And he laughed with the left side of his face all red and getting puffy and his friend didn’t laugh or seem to care one way or another and they roared down the road as fast as a 2001 Camry with 160,000 miles could take them.

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