My father is a chaplain for the FBI. It’s a fairly sweet gig. He goes down to the local field office a few times a month, and chats with the agents. And once a year, he flies to Quantico, to hang out with the cadets, and conduct services. This year, they let him participate in the timed-driving tests — he actually qualified, and scored better than a number of the cadets — and the suspect-apprehension tests. The dude is 65. He’s telling us about the driving test over dinner last week, eyes wide, hands in motion, excitement palpable, and I can’t shake the notion that I am exactly like this. Ridiculously childlike when enthusiastic. Like my son. Like my father.
His roommate during his stay was a 6’7″ basketball player/fighter pilot, who was 26 years old, and yelled things like, “No brakes, Chaplain. No brakes. Punch it!” during the driving test. The community we find. Everywhere. And the glow it elicits. I am younger, gimping around post-soccer, than I have been in years. Knee braced, thigh wrapped, breath rasping, joyful.