I remember it being cold. Very cold. My lips chapped, and I didn’t have the experience in that climate to grab some lip balm at the corner store.
I remember packing for the trip. Finding thermal underwear is a challenge when you live in a city where 24 degrees Celsius is considered wear-a-thick-jacket weather. I’d bought a couple of sweatshirts at the Purdue college store. Drew Brees, before the Saints Superbowl days, was the quarterback of the Boilermakers at the time. So I had a tank top, a dress shirt, a sweatshirt over that, and a not-heavy-enough coat on. I had the thermal underwear on under my dress pants. I was still freezing.
I spent the morning at corporate headquarters. It was a sterile, almost cheerless place. Many of the people were warm and welcoming though, and every conceivable amenity was available. The day’s sessions ended early, so I had a few hours free before the evening activities. After dumping the heavy laptop and binders at the hotel, I set off to explore the city.
Conseco Fieldhouse was a beacon for me. Home of Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers. It was All-Star Weekend, so there was no game. In the Team Shop, there was this absolutely cool Pacers bomber jacket. I remember the price tag. I remember the pang of regret as I put it back.
I had a burger at the nearby Hooter’s. I do remember the servers, and I remember not regretting having that burger.
I visited the RCA Dome, home of Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. There was no game either. The stuff in the team shop was just as expensive as the Pacers stuff. I left empty-handed.
I didn’t bother going into the malls. They didn’t interest me. Too bad GenCon wasn’t going on. That I would have definitely allocated time and money to attend.
So I remember then walking past street after street and not finding anything else remarkable or interesting. Regrettably in those pre-digital days I didn’t have a camera with me, so I didn’t stop and take photos as I would today. I must have looked like a fish out of water, walking aimlessly.
I remember thinking that I was literally freezing my ears off, so I had best head back.
I remember realizing that I was lost.
I usually have a pretty good sense of direction. In this case it was probably malfunctioning due to the cold with the rest of me. I looked for the highest building that I could recognize and reoriented. I think it was city hall that became my reference point. I made my way back to the row of government offices, and from there got back to familiar street names with a bit of trial and error.
I remember that I had been walking the city streets for almost three hours when I finally had the hotel back in view.
I remember the sense of relief as I staggered into my heated room and collapsed onto the bed.
That’s a lot more “I remembers” than I thought I’d remember.
Damned unreliable memory.