Gradually, I realized we're hearing the Michigan Marching Band conduct its practice at Elbel Field, over a mile away.
To be perfectly honest, I hate football. Everything about football. And yet like a siren's song, the faint music is captivating, seductive. Urging me closer. "Come on," I tell my son. I grab my keys and we jump in the car and drive down Liberty.
Ernie wants to know where we're going. I explain what a marching band is, what it does. He's seen lots of live outdoor music and loved it. That's why we're going. Ernie will love it.
We park (illegally) near the intersection of Hill and Fifth and cross the street. I can feel the blaring horns and mighty drums in the air. It's exhilarating. I grab Ernie's hand to pull him along. The bleachers are on the other side of the practice field, which is really a paved parking lot. We skirt along the right side of the field while someone (probably the director) screams at the band like a lunatic through a loudspeaker from atop a huge tower. The massive body of the group lunges and turns in on itself, writhing like an enormous molting, screaming creature. Ernie's eyes are huge.