Thirty years ago, in Cleveland, I took the rapid transit downtown one night after work, a Friday night in early December, that’s how I remember it, right after work around 5:00, 5:30, in the dark. For some reason, maybe by mistake, I took the train to 25th Street instead of downtown. I was going to the record store, I guess, Record Rendezvous, where Jimmy Jones presided——maybe it was payday, and after mentally paying all my bills and figuring and refiguring my budget for the next two weeks, maybe I had an extra twenty to blow. I could usually manage to buy myself a record or two every couple of weeks. Anyway, I got off the rapid at this deserted station, this deserted platform across the river from downtown, and it was snowing. I was a little lost but not completely lost, because I could see the Terminal Tower across the river, through the falling snow. I was just lost enough. And since I had nowhere to go or be that night and didn’t have to work the next day, which opened my imagination or dropped my defenses against imagination, and since I was accountable to no one, I started walking toward downtown. I must have dared myself to do it——“Just walk there!”——and started walking down the hill toward the river. Not that it was a long walk or anything. It was a challenge to routine, to the idea that I had to get right home, that I had to explain myself to anyone or even to myself. It was a challenge to established routes. And so I walked to the river and then, in the dark among the weeds, I found the mouth of an unused road along the river, and I followed it. The snow was falling in big flakes and ticking into the weeds, and through the snow I could see the Terminal Tower. I was lost but not too lost, and because it was Friday and payday I was free but just free enough to know it. I think of this as the time of Sandinista, the Clash record, but it could have been a year later. I don’t remember what I bought at the record store, I don’t remember being there, I don’t remember downtown or by what bridge I crossed the river. What I remember is walking toward downtown through the falling snow, on a road that wasn’t quite even a road, through tall dead weeds, in the early dark of an early-December Friday night. What I didn’t know then was that this would turn out to have been one of the happiest nights of my life.