Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sometimes I Get This Crazy Dream

And the fog's in barrels on Totten Pond Road...

The new Fountains of Wayne album Sky Full of Holes is fantastic.

And there, buried in the second-to-last song (where it slid by unnoticed during my first few listens), is a reference to Totten Pond Road in Waltham, Mass.

The exact place where, more years ago than I care to admit, just off the highway and a short walk from the reservoir, I had my first job out of college.

The company's gone now -- after betting too much on government contracts that fundamentally made no sense, they pivoted ten years ago and tried to make consumer products. This required getting rid of almost all the people who worked on the government jobs -- because people will never tolerate in a consumer product the nonsense the government puts up with.

I don't remember what I worked on there and I only lasted a year before I moved on -- to a company where I worked on something else I can't remember.

But at Totten Pond Road there was a guy I'll call David (which I think was even his name) -- he seemed impossibly old at the time, but probably was only in his 50s.

I can't remember the organizational structure, but David was in charge of a significant part of our project. He had several people working for him and had a wry sense of humor.

He kept to himself, but so did a lot of people there.

Then, one Monday, he was gone.

The direct-deposit of his paycheck hit Saturday at 12:01 am. He emptied his bank account, left his wife, kids, house, and credit cards and took his car.

His wife was panicked, the cops were called, and everyone was hauled into a conference room to answer questions about whether he said anything that indicated he might do something like this.

No one had heard anything and David had been careful not to leave any hints about what he clearly had planned for some time.

A few months later, he called one of his colleagues. He'd moved halfway across the country, taken another job, and decided he needed to start again.

But the weird thing was that he'd done this exact thing before.

David had cleaned out his bank account and left a house and first wife in California to come to Totten Pond Road.

We all sometimes get that crazy dream that we just take off in the car. David did it -- at least twice.

And this morning, with fog rolling in from the coast in Los Angeles, I wondered where David wound up -- and whether he vanished a third time. (I hope he's still around, even though he'd certainly be a lot older now...)

Or just thought about it, then turned his car around and went home.


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

"We all sometimes get that crazy dream that we just take off in the car."

Aint it the truth? Bruce's got a wife & kids in Baltimore, Jack. And even Steve Earle's had occasion to throw the car seat in the dumpster and head off into the night!

And thanks for the head's up on FOW. I remember Simels saying he had a full-fledged review of this caper somewhere, but I haven't tracked it down yet. But meanwhile, you saying it's great is good enough for me; i'll download it soonest ...

Amy said...

My old car broke down at that exit back in the 80s...

whiteray said...

Iremember reporting on the arrest of a guy who up and left his life three times, but this fellow only left after he'd embezzled significant amounts of money from his workplace. He got caught because he sent for his wife the third time. She lived in secrecy with him for a few years, her family having no idea where she was. Then one day, she called home, the phone tracing began (before caller ID), and a few months later, he was in jail, facing charges in three states. His (third) wife was waiting for him when he got out.