Drew turns left onto 8th Street off Callowhill and sees the line of cars backing up the entrance to 676 West. He takes a deep breath and holds it for about four seconds before he exhales. Another morning drive from the city to Valley Forge.
He thinks of today’s schedule as his black Ford Fusion passes the Broad Street exit. Meetings to attend, phone calls to make, countless emails from people who expect prompt responses.
A dark green Jeep Cherokee comes to an abrupt halt in front of Drew and he taps the brakes just as he sips his coffee and some of the coffee spills onto his khaki pants. “Shit,” he says out loud to nobody. He tries to wipe away the coffee with his hand, but only makes the stain bigger.
Suddenly Drew’s thoughts cease and he feels trapped, like his life is a record being played over and over again and he doesn’t much like the song.
He turns the radio to 88.5 and hears a few guitar strokes before familiar lyrics at a different tempo from a voice he doesn’t recognize. It’s Outkast’s 'Hey Ya,' an acoustic version. The original was hot while he was a student without a care in the world, and though this cover slows the pace, it transports him to a time when he was free, each day unfolding on a whim.
The song ends and for a moment he’s thankful for his life, his family, his and their health. Forty five minutes later he arrives at his office and goes through the motions, gets through the day with a stain on his pants and a tune stuck in his head.
(Listen to Obadiah Parker's acoustic cover of Outkast's 'Hey Ya' here)