It's been a bad month. For a variety of reasons I've been feeling like a failure both professionally and personally. I sleep like I'm on watch - sleep two hours and stay awake two, all through the night. The hours I'm awake I catalog a litany of mistakes and missteps and future problems that snowball until I either fall back asleep or wake up and trudge through another day.
So I've been getting out of town on the weekends, which has been pretty great. Went to Chapel Hill two weekends ago, which was amazing. Lots of beer drinking, man talk and pork eating in one of the greatest little cities I've ever been in. I don't understand why all of America isn't trying to move up there.
Gainesville, Florida was up next in my tour of our nation's finest college towns for this big music festival thing. I didn't really care too much about seeing the bands, I was mostly in it for another big Gainesville group meet up.
As both of my readers might remember, these tend to happen once a year or so, when a group of about 20 or so ex-Gainesvillians gather for a wedding or music festival or whatever. A few have them have also magically lined up when I've been in the middle of some tough times, and have managed to pick me up and recharge my batteries for at least a little while.
I'm not really comfortable around a lot of people. I tend to hide different aspects of my revolting personality around different groups, and I generally stay quiet, feeling that people wouldn't want to hear whatever I would say, so it was nice to be around a group where I could be completely comfortable. Judging from the memories that flash through, perhaps I was a little too comfortable.
And the weekend seems to have worked its magic. Three days and nights surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world, full of eating, drinking, music and laffs, which naturally, I didn't get a single photo of. Official photographer Leila Campisi did get some pretty awesome photos, including this one of me eating some money. It made sense at the time.
How am I still single?
You could say that this is all a bunch of middle-aged Big Chill-type nostalgia, and I might agree, except that none of us were really bringing up the past at all - we were focusing on what we were doing now, catching up with each other, that sort of thing. I don't mean to make this sound like some therapy session or something, I was frequently laughing so hard at some nonsense that I felt I had ruptured my appendix or something.
As loaded as I was through the weekend I still had trouble sleeping until Saturday night. I slept like a log and woke up at 7:30 feeling more refreshed than I had in a long time. I went ahead and packed up and drove back to Jacksonville, feeling...I dunno, peaceful somehow, knowing that all my problems (which would be ridiculous to 90 percent of the world) can be dealt with or ignored. The sun was still rising and looked beautiful, every song that came up on the ipod sounded amazing, and I was on the road.
Sure, I might be a single middle aged guy who is frequently broke and has a lack of both marketable talents and social skills, but I've able to pick some goddamn amazing friends, and I'll be able to take whatever life dishes out, as long as I can keep in touch with them to remind me that I'm not as weird and out of place as I sometimes think I am.
And I can still eat the hell out of some money.