Every day for more than eight years, I took Story Avenue to weave my way toward my work office in a renovated Catholic church on Pain Street.
It wasn’t until yesterday, driving down Interstate 64, that I saw the Exit for Story Avenue and thought, “Story. Story Avenue. Like a story you write!” That was the exact occurrence of words as they assembled into thoughts in my head.
It’s funny how words get stuck in Wernicke’s area of your brain matter, getting assigned meaning as if your mind is separate from you. For all these years, even as a writer, I attached the Story in Story Avenue to a building floor, as in, “…the house behind that street sign is two stories tall.” That is what I read every morning as I drove by, Monday through Friday, year after year.
This also happened recently with a song I’ve been singing all my life.
I’ve heard the Beatle’s, “Baby you can drive my car,” almost as many times as I have heard my own name being said. After years upon years upon years of hearing this song, not once did I ever reconsider my interpretation of its lyrics from the time I first heard it.
Growing up a young child of the 70s, I knew the Beatles were rock stars, and all rock stars drove super cool cars. Of course, “Baby You Can Drive My Car,” was their anthem to let their girlfriends know they too would get a chance to take the wheel.
When I was seven, I was at the gym with my mom—during my younger years, she was on a women’s traveling volleyball team and I spent many evenings watching her play volleyball in gyms around town. One such evening, she told me to ask the guy waiting to play a few courts over if he would take us for a ride in his new Corvette.
I wasn’t sure who she was talking about and asked the wrong guy. The right guy with the new Corvette eventually got the message and ended up being my dad a few short years later.
But that’s a different story.
Just like thinking, “Baby you can drive my car,” was about getting the privilege to take the wheel–not be someone’s driver.