The song above is to be played while you read... If you read this...
Normally this blog is full of puppets, and funny videos, and puppets, and odds and ends on my creative life and music obsession, and puppets. But this morning I'm gonna take a break from that. Sorry if I'm boring anyone. The regular broadcast will come back on Wednesday.
Man, that has come up ALOT the past few weeks. It started on Tricky's birthday. We had our usual Elmwood meeting and then a few of us hit "our" bar, Central Cafe, to get Tricky a few rum and Cokes.
On the way out a car died and Tricky saved the day. Then Trick and I walked back to our cars and stood there leaning and talking. God, it must have been two hours chatting about the past 20 years.
I made the "damn we're old" jokes and he pointed out we're not just old, we're better. We went over the Hell-House parties of the mid to late 1990's, we went over the women we got ourselves involved with, the guys we don't see anymore, the people who have passed, the cars we owned and the racing and "dipping" we did... And how some things are just "timeless".
Is this was nostalgia feels like?
And like I said, I made the old jokes, and he said we're better...
Not that we were bad twenty years ago. Just that age has treated us OK. People I meet still think I'm in my mid-twenties (and I'm bald!) and Tricky baffles people that he's old enough to have 5 year old triplets. My homeboy and I have aged considerably well. Especially considering the way we've abused ourselves over the years. We've both recently bumped into people we went to school with and left thinking... Are we THAT old?
And Tricky; We're not... But some of them are.
Hell, some of the people I hang out with on a regular basis are younger than me and every now and then I realize that I'm the older one... I can still run OK, squat, sit indian style, go from sitting to standing without having to prop myself with my hands on something. and play Hackey Sack... Not bad, eh? Hahaha...
Anyway, our whole conversation got started because of god-damned Facebook. Someone we graduated high school with started a reunion group and we were both added into it. I removed myself. I did it three times before I realized there was way to remove yourself and block people from re-adding you. I didn't remove myself to be an asshole. I didn't hate high school. I didn't love it either. But my idea of a reunion isn't going to a bar or banquet hall, paying too much money to get in and spending a nite with 200 of my not-closest friends. I've been saying for years that if I wanted a reunion I'd get the people together and hang. But not just 1993 people. High school people in general, the ones I actually hung out with. And most of them didn't graduate with me... . And I really don't even want to do that.
So back on the 20 Years... Where was I in 1993?
I graduated high school by the skin of my teeth and didn't bother taking the collage route seriously. I spent the last few months of the year dating Tricky's sister, which to this date ranks as one of the biggest disasters in my life (and that is saying ALOT, hahaha, good thing it didn't even make it a year) and he warned me not too. Not out of a way to protect her, but to protect me! I got obsessed with puppetry that year. Prince released "The Hits/The B-Sides". And my brother died.
You gotta take the good with the bad. And if you can, you gotta make the bad into something good.
Over the past twenty years I have been doing that. Learning to take it as it comes and make it good. And I'm getting damn good at doing it.
I have a fun life. I'm a man-child, I suppose. I've made it to two years short of 40 without having any kids and keeping my passion alive. Do I have responsibility? Of course I do. I have two cats to feed and an awesome girlfriend that keeps me on my toes. Do I have it all figured out? Hell no. And I'm not gonna fake it like so many people do. I'm not ashamed of still trying to figure it all out, whatever it all may be. It's the journey of life. Sometimes people I know openly come down on me for not taking the roads they did... Traditional marriage, kids, cubicle, etc... And at first it confused me. Now, recently, I've learned it's not me. It's them. I followed my own way. My own desires. And I've been happy. The people I know who have given me crap just aren't. They aren't happy. Tricky is a good example of someone who hasn't given me crap. And he has the traditional life. And it's cuz he is happy. And he know my lifestyle has made me happy.
Time for another song...
I guess what I'm getting at here, the message of this post if there is one, is life is short. 20 years went by like a blink. Life is short as Hell. Live every second of it you can. punch in and punch out at work and do the thing you gotta do... And live the rest. I mean LIVE. Be alive. Be fun. Be love. Be life.
Be yourself. I've been myself for so long I couldn't image following a different drummer.
Shit, in high school I would proudly pronounce my love of Prince's music... And most people though I was nuts (I am nuts, by the way, but Prince has nothing to do with it) and I didn't care. Prince is still around, and in 1993 Billy Ray Cyrus' album was a huge hit. I think I was right with my musical tastes...
Again 20 years... And I'm lucky. Lucky to still have some of the friends I had then, and lucky to have spent the past 20 making the friends I have now. Through the good and bad we're a motley crew of weirdos, hippies, metal-heads, funk-a-teers, hipsters, artists, parents, drunks, geniuses, and so on and on and on and on...
So I won't be at any reunions... But I will be at Central Cafe soon enough for another round of rum and Cokes with Tricky. If you wanna come and hang you're more than welcome to join us.
And if you don't wanna, we'll raise a toast to you...
"To absent friends"