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Monday, September 26, 2011

Back On The Road (Pt. 6)


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So very sorry for the lack of updates, dear readers. Apparently your band is small, but dedicated. Thank you for your support from the bottom of my heart. Unfortunately, the technology gods saw fit to continue my year of computer suffering, which has made maintaining this fine interweb publication rather difficult. However, Philadelphia thieves be damned, I'm now on computer #5 of the last 365 days. Fie! Fie, I say! Now, where were we? I believe I was chronicling my southeastern road trip of late June/early July, and had just left New Orleans for Savannah.

Finally started coming down from my New Orleans high around midnight somewhere on the border of Mississippi and Alabama. Implemented nap/drive/burrito mode and arrived back in Savannah by noon the next day. Originally I had planed to explore Atlanta, one of the few big America cities I have yet to visit, but I had so much fun with my couchsurf hosts in Savannah, Fin and Isaac, that I had to go back for more. Plus, it twas the fourth of July, and I wanted some guaranteed quality times with friendly people.

I got back to the red brick castle, Fin and Isaac called home, by noon. I had stopped at a local grocery store and stocked up on beer and provisions to concoct my signature pearled couscous summer salad for the boys to express my appreciation of the continued support of my travels. As I cooked, we drank and talked on their magical porch. You'd think after all the talking we did the week before (check Back On The Road (Pt. 1) for details), there would be nothing left to say. But, isn't that the swell thing about kindred spirits? There's always something to new to talk about. Effortless, unspoken empathy emanates between you, creating an almost palpable aura, super conductive firmament. Sex, art, adventure, love, society, power, oppression, atomic energy, the cosmos: ideas and worlds colliding unfettered and congealing into conversation so fluidly. We took no notice of the time until it was dark enough to turn on the lights, and suddenly we realized it was night.

By the time we got ourselves organized with libations, and some of the guy's friends they had met while camping on an island the previous weekend, we had missed the fireworks. Undeterred, we set out with pockets full of beer, thanks to Savannah's enlightened liquor laws, and walked the well-partied streets. Skinny, well-decorated, sartorially and socially conforming hipsters from the art college mixed with thick-necked, daringly drunk, all-American boys from the army base out with their young blonde wives at bars with youth appeal. This is where things get blurry. I was feeling so sufficiently lubricated that I did not realize how inebriated Fin and Isaac were until it was too late. Fin brazenly tried to walk into a bar with an open beer pouring out his pocket, and then Isaac challenged two of the army set to pool. Having already surrendered all their coordination, the boys lost the game completely under the watchful eye of the bar staff, who were unlikely to serve us again. Upstairs, a DJ was spinning, clearing out his corner of an otherwise crowed joint. Too drunk to care, we danced the blues away, tripping over our own feet, while people passing on their way to the bathroom looked on in disdain. Hilarious inhibition and cacophony all the stumbling way back to the red brick castle. Happy birthday, America!

In the morning, I dragged myself up to make coffee. Once again, Isaac was already up and at his art, while Fin and I groggily tried to recover. I was trying to get to Richmond at a reasonable hour, so by noon I was back on the road to Virginia. Powered by copious amounts of coffee, I flew north on I-95, only stopping to fuel up with more coffee and gas. I got to Virginia by the late afternoon, called up as many of the old set as I could muster, and headed into the city.

A few years ago, I had a good group of friends in Richmond, punk rockers and UVA students, all brought together by our annual Unitarian Universalist church camp in Blacksburg, VA. Since then they've grown up, moved away, broke up, or got married. Time keeps keeping on. Only a handful remained, and upon getting back in touch with them I was told that they rarely ever associated anymore. One friend, Cody, didn't have a Facebook profile, and I hadn't talked to him in a couple years. I had taken a chance and called his old phone number. Luckily it was still his, and he offered to put me up for the night. He had grown up a little as well, attending graduate school and buying a house. We met up and took his puppy for a walk in the park, while we tried to coordinate with the couple other guys that were down to hang. It was fantastic. Despite a couple years gap in communication, it became clear as we caught up that we still ought to be friends. It was the empathy aura again: kindred spirits.

We only managed to muster two other friends, Seth and Felix. Congregating at a local brewery along with Seth's fiance and her family, we caught up for a couple hours while we watched the sun set over Richmond. It was good, but awkward. Thinking of previous summer nights spent raising a carefree ruckus until breakfast, I was left with a poignant nostalgia. Is this the inevitable reality of adulthood? I just can't go for that.

Calling it an early evening, Cody and I headed back to his place where we shot the shit 'till 1am, mostly sharing our various plans for epic adventure. Apparently, the house purchase was more financial than life-plan motivated. Cody still wanted to trot the globe, and consequently I still wanted to be his friend. Unfortunately, he had to work early the next morning, and I needed to get back home. We cut the conversation short to go to sleep, and in the morning we parted with a hasty goodbye. Still we were resolved to keep in better touch, and perhaps one day explore South America.

Tired, but victorious. Covered in bug bites, but beautifully tanned. Quiet enough to write, but buzzing with potential. I headed back home in time for a dear friend's birthday, full of excitement for my last epic house show, planning my road trip to the Maritime Provinces of Canada, and preparing to move to Los Angeles in the fall.

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