"Are you going to be famous?" he asks from the backseat. What I am now is not enough for him, and since hearing me on the radio a month or so ago, he thinks I should be famous. It's got to be confusing for a six year old. What's a product manager anyway? My mom is in the newspaper, on the radio, on stage. She must be famous.
It's always the same curve followed by a quick hill that makes my stomach flip. It's unnatural, or perhaps perfectly natural, just not meant to be a road. A row of trees separates South Street from the Mass Pike, and it's almost not enough of a barrier. You drive fast on this road.
A friend who worked at facilities management on campus told us how much the signs pointing to our university, placed strategically to be seen when getting off the highway, cost to maintain each year. It was something like three students worth of full year tuition. We thought it was so much money to spend, albeit necessary in that pre-GPS time. I know better now, all these years working with money, how much something costs. It's practically a bargain, that signage expense. I wonder, though, if that's just my jaded perspective, if it would still seem like a ton of money to the rest of them. We all took the same road coming in. The road looked different by the time we left.
There are other roads that had the power to make my stomach flip, sometimes with the same woods for scenery, sometimes the same curves. Driving to Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The road to my overnight camp, where you'd erupt into cheers passing through the gate at the start of summer, and wail in tears at its end. South Street not only leads to Brandeis, it also leads to Children's Hospital, where Max got his cast off this morning. It used to be a more general hospital, and was the place where I spent 10 hours shadowing in the emergency room while training to be an EMT.
Max wishes I was an EMT still, too. That would be better than being the non-famous person I am. I know a little about booboos, and that's helpful when he needs my Band-Aid expertise. But he would tell you that I am not an expert, not a professional.
"You can still be famous," he says. There's still time.
I'm not so sure. Roads have already been taken. Some were taken cautiously, some probably taken too fast. There have been curves. But at least I'm still traveling.