It was my 30th birthday. My boyfriend, Donny, bought me a surprise gift of a guitar. Bess, the old one, had gotten stolen out of the back seat of the car the one time I left the car unlocked to run into the convenience store. It was Gower brand, special-ordered from a Nashville music store. They don’t make Gowers anymore.
To celebrate, Donny and I drove out to the forest, near Lake Placid, with a picnic basket and the lovely present. I asked Donny to request what the first song I would play would be. Donny had been a Pink Floyd fan for as long as I could remember. He requested, “Money,” which was ironic as we had also packed caviar in the picnic basket (“new car, caviar, four-star daydream, think I’ll buy me a football team”).
I also loved Pink Floyd’s music and began strumming and singing with every ounce of heart I could muster. The Gower accompanied me like wings accompany an angel.
I was just about to the end of the song when off to the left screamed a voice, “Help!” over and over again. Before we could get up to check it out, a man burst through the undergrowth, still screaming, and collapsed at our feet. His clothes were ripped here and there, as if they had caught on things while the man ran. His face was a bright red and beaded with sweat. His screams had stopped but he was mumbling incoherently. A few words jumped out… “radar … kill … silenced … trapped.” Suddenly, his body stiffened, as if high voltage electricity was going through his muscles. He strained to speak against the currents pulsing though him. His eyes went slowly up to the sky just as a shadow fell over us. He croaked out, “Run.”