:: Friday ::
Today we celebrate 25 years of Becky.
And what a grand celebration it was. Naturally, I had missed most of it by the time I arrived at Lake Nelson, but Becky and the Ecks were ready and waiting for my arrival, welcoming my presence and any alcohol that I might have brought with me as a gift.
The usual suspects were all there plus a few extra surprises - individuals that I thought had long since been thrown off the team.
Naked Tim was there. What a delight he always is.
He looked a little more humble this time around. You don't cross Becky and the Ecks without a test in humility to show for it.
Everyone was loud and oblivious to the fact that I had walked through the door. Their mouths all open - laughing and talking at the very height of their ability - the warm alcohol on their breath filled the air, making it damp and very very drunk. I had no option but to pour myself a drink. Rolling the dice I landed on Southern Comfort - a great way to start and finish the evening.
I poked around for a bit and found the smokers on the back deck, and a few more out on the dock by the lake. I stayed inside and watched through the window. I've noticed lately that if for nothing else, Lake Nelson is really good for observing. Rest assured some amount of drama will take place before the evening is through. There always is, and it's so much fun to watch.
Somewhere two hours later I found myself on the front deck talking to Holly and two guys that I didn't know. One was discussing his face piercings and pointing out how barely noticeable the scars are. His friend randomly brought up Death Cab and this began a conversation about how they'll be playing at Hammerstein in October and how I probably won't get to go see them on account of "work" (yes, I might be doing that sometime again soon. Miracles never do cease, eh?).
Pierced face boy excused himself from the conversation to use the restroom and I took advantage of the situation, escaping while no one would take notice. Through the living room, into the kitchen, grabbing my jacket from the back of the chair and out the back door all in one, swift movement. It was art. It was beautiful.
I felt a little sick.
I only threw up once on my way home. Southern Comfort isn't as comfortable as I once remembered.
Pulling off at the Red Bull Inn, I felt slightly miserable as the world spun around me, but not from the alcohol. The world was just spinning. I was spinning as I grabbed a blanket from the back seat and wrapped it around me. It was 2:45 in the morning. I've grown slightly accustomed to sleeping in parking lots these days.
Happy birthday, Becky.
:: Saturday ::
Some days I never wake-up. My eyes open, my feet hold me perpendicular to the ground and I go about my business, but I don't really wake-up. Perhaps the signal doesn't quite make it to the brain, or perhaps my physiological state is not quite coterminous with the functioning status of my psychological being. I'm no doctor (although I do play one on television), but it does happen. It's killer when you have to drive long distances.
I was supposed to go and pick up my bridesmaid dress with Kelly (for about the third time this week), but never made it around to that.
I was supposed to meet Bret at Echo Lake park at 10:30 in the morning, but I didn't really make it around to that either.
I opened my eyes in the parking lot of Red Bull Inn somewhere around 7AM and decided to venture home, setting my sights first on an Egg McMuffin along the way. I rested peacefully for about three hours.
I made it to Echo Lake park somewhere around 12:30, after my body tried to purge that harmless little McMuffin from my system for the second time.
I was feeling a little weak at the knees, but the sunshine felt nice against my skin. It reminded me that I really was alive, and perhaps even awake.
It was nice to see Phyllis again.
Everyone felt the need to remind me that I'll be working for Doug soon.
Rick looks really miserable (you can read all about it in his blog, where he openly bashes me and Greg).
Shaylin and I went for a car ride while the 40 or so volunteers and supporters mingled around her father, waiting for him to give his typical and obligatory 20 minute speech. It was good we went or else I might have felt the need to kick him in the shins and remind him that we were at a picnic.
Her hair was braided into a million tight little braids, all over her head. She had just gotten back from Jamaica.
"How long did it take to do all these?" I asked as I ran my hand over the strange and smooth little bumps.
"About two and a half hours..."
I exclaimed that I didn't know she could sit still for that long and she smirked at me, looking very much like her father.
I threw up again after that. I think it was the car ride.
Lynn sent me with a watermelon, and I was feeling sort of mellow. I was thinking about another picnic that was going to be starting shortly, one that I really wanted to go to but didn't feel much liberty to. Well... let me rephrase that a bit: I wanted to go, but I really didn't. Not really anyway. I've made enough trouble this summer, you know? I need to stop thinking of myself so damn much...
I did want to bring Luke a watermelon though. And I wanted to bring him some beer too. In fact, in light of how miserably sick I was feeling, bringing Luke some beer and watermelon for his cookout sounded really really nice.
So I did.
Red Stripe and Watermelon in hand, I showed up at Luke's around 4:05 with weak knees and a shaky voice.
It was nice to see him again. He gave me a hug, that superb kind of a hug that makes you feel really good to be there.
It made me realize how little I actually know him, to see him looking so casual. I watched him rinse out small dishes for chips and salsa as he chatted with the few people in his kitchen. Everything was clean and shiney and he just seemed really content. I asked him about the boys and he didn't say much. He asked me if I still talked to anyone and I told him I did not.
"Oh... right." he said as he sort of put his head down for a moment, still smiling a little. I didn't really know what he meant by it though.
I stayed 20 minutes and then left, being sure to duck out before anyone really got there. I wondered if he would mention later that I had been there. I wondered if it would even strike him to do such. I wondered if it even mattered one way or the other. In the grand scheme of things: not really.
But that's in the grand scheme of things.
I drove down to Princeton and tried to sleep for a very long time. Somewhere around 3AM I didn't feel so sick anymore. I dreamt about a painting that was hanging on the hotel room wall. It was strange. In my dream, the painting was all I could see, no matter what people put in front of my face.
I didn't sleep very well.
:: Sunday ::
When I lived in Washington, DC it was not an uncommon thing for me to be out and about on a Sunday morning and to find a strange church to duck into just spur of the moment. Not strange as in odd, but strange as in one that I'd never been to before. I feel like a lot of the time, by some strange miracle, the service was always starting within five minutes or so of the very minute I was walking by. That's actually how I came to find the church that I would attend regularly there. Pretty amazing, right?
Driving up from Princeton Sunday morning, I was feeling quite a lot better than I had the day before. Of course, I'd gone out of my way to visit Einstein Bros. Bagels on Route 1 on my way out and only to be terribly disappointed... that's a whole other story for another day.
I realized that I wasn't going to make it to my church in Bridgewater and I actually, for a moment, for kicks and giggles, entertained the thought of hopping up to the Presbyterian church in New Providence, but didn't quite feel it necessary or wise.
I passed a Reformed church and noticed that their service was to begin at 10AM. The time was exactly 9:57 AM... miracles never do cease, I am reminded once again.
It was a lovely service, I must say. It felt good to be standing in a congregation where absolutely no one knew who I was. Showing up in ripped jeans, dirty hair, and no make-up makes you wonder if everyone around you is thinking you a heathen that's just walked in off the streets. I love to imagine this and then amaze the person in front of me as I harmonize with the hymns, singing the words by memory.
I feel more concentrated though. I feel like I can be more honest with God, and with myself. I feel like I gain a lot of encouragement from a congregation that I have never met. I like the feeling of it quite a bit, actually.
I washed the Focus again. It's been staying really really clean lately, inside and out. That's a good feeling as well.
:: Monday ::
I drove 200 miles today. I used 3/4 of a tank of gasoline.
I traveled from Whitehouse Station to Piscataway, to East Brunswick, to Mountainside, to Trenton, to Bridgewater, and then back to Whitehouse Station.
I finally picked up my Bridesmaid dress, that beast of a thing.
I bought a wedding gift for my brother and his bride-to-be.
I refilled a prescription.
I learned how to cut up a pineapple.
Being busy is all relative. When I had a job, I was busy all the time. I had time for literally nothing else.
Now that I don't have a job, I'm still pretty damn busy and just not getting paid for it.
It's all relative.
As busy as I was earlier today, I've been super lazy tonight.
I watched a horrible movie with Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez and I ate really awful chinese take-out. I hope it doesn't make me sick again.
But then, if it did, I suppose it wouldn't be all that bad.
Not in the grand scheme of things.
Currently listening :
There Is Nothing Left to Lose
By Foo Fighters
Release date: By 02 November, 1999