I awoke to a text message from my brother, Glenn, that said "ring me as soon as u get this!"
I didn't know what to expect. Glenn gets excited very easily and I often receive similar messages, but I called him right away.
"Scott, guess who I've just got an email from?"
My immediate thought was Hollywood talent agent Beth Swoffard.
"No, not Beth Swoffard"
I was out of ideas.
"John Ondrasik," he said.
For those who don't know (read: for those who haven't met me or can't hear things I say), John Ondrasik is the person who writes under the name Five For Fighting. He is also my idol.
I knew what the message was about.
"I got in touch with his manager... he said 'here are lyrics - direct from John'"
My heart skipped a beat.
Back in September, 2001, the whole World was shaken. I was too young (I still am) to understand exactly what had happened or why. A benefit concert was held a month later, dedicated to the brave men and women involved.
The event was called 'The concert for New York city' and among the many charitable performers was Five for Fighting. Soon after this, Ondrasik wrote about the experience and shared the lyrics to a song inspired by that concert.
I read those lyrics.
Five for Fighting's new albums came and went, and each time I waited for the track list, waited to read those words again, waited to hear that song.
'The Night of New York'
It never came. Along the way the lyrics were lost and despite many efforts, neither Glenn nor myself could ever find them.
I understand what an emotional back-drop the song has and how the feelings it evoked may be completely accidental to Ondrasik's words, whatever they were. But the emotion elicited, for whatever reason, was enough to keep this song firmly in my mind over the next decade.
And today, I can read them once again.
Glenn forwarded me the email. Before he hung up the phone he said "best day ever". I told him, for once, his hyperbole was not misplaced. This just might be the finest day of our existence.
And then he addressed the fear I'd had since I discovered the nature of the message. After over ten years of imagining... how could it possibly live up to my expectations?
It's like returning to Disney World once you're all grown up. Will it still be as magical as all those years ago?
"Scott..." he said. "It's as good as I remembered"
I can barely recall a single word, but I can recall the importance of every one. After twelve years, I have it. In my inbox. Waiting.
I think it's time to take one more ride on the runaway train...