|I probably needed to find better role models in those days.
Still, the world is a shittier place without him in it.
It's hard to put a finger on a catalyst. I think the root was when I reconnected with an old friend on that Instagram app. Our lives had gone on vastly divergent paths and something about her creativity and zeal for life hit a button in my brain and got me thinking about the old, better days. That's the type of person I wanted to be again. Right around then, after a particularly shitty night of drinking alone and feeling sorry for myself, I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize the disgusting thing staring back at me. It was time. I decided that I wanted to live instead of die.
|Also a bad idea to get me wet or feed my ass after midnight.
|Not exactly the picture of health. But I'm much better now.
So I almost died, managed to bounce back, and then last April, I almost died again! This time, instead of slowly murdering myself over a twenty year span, I almost took the easy way out. BIG OL' CAR CRASH! Driving out to the mighty Rose Park for a little round of golf one morning, I approached an intersection right by my house. I was hanging a left as the light turned yellow. It's a fairly high speed street, but I thought the truck that was approaching was slowing down for the red. I was wrong. Dude gunned it instead and two vehicles can't occupy the same space at once. They estimated he was going sixty but I don't remember much of the actual impact. Just the spin as my Dodge Charger pirouetted a couple times around in the intersection and I got punched by every single airbag in the car.
|All that's left.
My mother came over to take me to the doctor, and as I painfully sat in my easy chair, something weird happened, I just started laughing. My mom and sister looked at me horrified. Maybe I am a little nuts, because that was really the only reaction that felt right at the moment. Despite all my best efforts, both self-inflicted and accidental, I was still here. For reasons I can't even perceive I was still here even though I shouldn't be. For some reason, I found that hilarious. At least until all that laughing tightened up my ribs and tears started pouring out. GODDAMN THAT HURT.
So I'm still alive, and from now on, I take absolutely NOTHING for granted anymore because nobody knows exactly when their ticket is gonna get punched. And I'm bound and determined to live my best life from now on. Whatever that is. I'm going to do it. The problem is, I don't have any idea what that means. For the first time in my life that I can recall, I like myself. I've got confidence that I've never really had. My job is satisfying. I've got great pals and my relationships with my family are as good as ever. As that other main character (and who some have theorized is the actual main character) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Cameron Frye said, "I am not going to sit on my ass as the events that affect me unfold to determine the course of my life. I'm going to take a stand. I'm going to defend it. Right or wrong, I'm going to defend it."
|"And the times have changed my friend
I'll be here to the bitter end
With a guitar in my hand, I stand a little taller
And I've been to hell and back
I ain't falling off this track
From the back to the front page
From the gutter to the stage"
But something is still missing. And I need to figure out what that is.
So, I'm gonna hit the road for awhile. Just me, and my thoughts. Sure, I'm going to be seeing some old friends, revisiting the past and figuring out how I got to this point, along the way. But I have a feeling the next couple weeks and this trip I'm taking might bring a little clarity to my head. I'm going to try to mix in a few dispatches from the road for you folks, and even if I don't find what I'm looking for, at least I'll have some good memories and a few awesome sights to share. Anyway, thanks for indulging my ass on this story. I promise to go back to telling dumbass college stories, inane commentaries and reviews of shitty movies again soon.