Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Rebirth

If you're anything like me, you've always hated homework. To the bone.

Unfortunately, this latest blog entry requires some reading in order to understand (or you can just skip it and come back tomorrow). Anyway, this is about the rebirth that took place after this story here.

I was in quite the slump after what had happened. I felt destroyed. I had lost what little taste for life I once had. I was basically stuck in neutral for several months - but like a bad case of herpes, I eventually came back with a vengeance.

This is how I got my closure.

One Friday afternoon, while procrastinating from any meaningful activity, I posted a comment on a picture my old friend Emily had put up on MySpace. It said, "Nice hat, fucker."

This may seem like a benign comment, but it wasn't.

"Nice hat, fucker" represented everything that my life was missing. "Nice hat, fucker" was the carefree, less solemn me trying to break free. "Nice hat, fucker" made me realize I had no closure to the life I once had.

I realized that a big part of me was still clinging to that life I once had back in North Carolina. The sense of stability that time represented was gone for a while now, but it was a reality I wasn't willing to confront. Emily is the only remaining tie I have to that life, and I wish she had still lived there - because that weekend, I went back.

That's right - like Ozzy fucking Osbourne, I made one final return to North Carolina that weekend for the comeback tour to end all comeback tours. This was my epilogue. My closure - The North Carolina Comeback Tour.

I had to make myself a couple promises before I did it:

One - I would not make contact with anyone of significance from my time there. Those characters from my life had been killed off, so to speak, and they were under absolutely no circumstances to be reintroduced.

Two - While this would be a tour of pleasures, there would be certain pleasures I would abstain from. After all, this was not for the closure to things, just a closure.

So with those two certainties in mind, I was ready to party like it was 1999.

One small hiccup with the plan, though - I'm not white. I was a man of middle-eastern descent (1/2 Greek, 1/2 Lebanese) who had purchased a last-minute cross-country flight ticket with cash. Before I could even yelp "I'm a Republican!" Donald Rumsfeld had on white gloves and was demanding I spread my cheeks. Having been thoroughly violated and my baggage checked multiple times, I was finally en route to North Carolina.

I eventually got to my hotel room in my luxurious Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and decide I'd waste no time on this whole closure thing.

I went to one of my favorite coffee shops and found exactly what I was looking for - one of the girls that I'd been meaning to take out when I lived there. She was excited to see me. I maneuvered my charm like a slippery ballerina and got her to agree to break off her commitments for the evening and go see a movie with me instead.

The evening was a fantastic reintroduction to my old world. And while I really liked this girl, sleeping with her was not an option. She was a single mother - and as everybody knows, you don't shoplift the pootie from a single mother. This particular comeback tour stop was not about sex anyway - it was about the people there that I missed, the old movie theater that I used to go to, and of course, a nice dinner at one of my old favorites. The evening accomplished everything it was supposed to.

I went back to my hotel room and fell asleep - alone.

Sunday afternoon I went to one of my old watering holes and had a nice lunch of cheese sticks and captain and coke - something that would make my old friend Emily very proud. I sat outside like we always did and recounted some amazing memories that were associated with that place. Fights, love affairs, and sharing drinks with a couple police officers that saw us smoking weed the day before - to name a few. I was alone, but not in spirit. I said goodbye to the aptly named Sunset Grill and headed to my third destination:

Naked women.

I wouldn't be who I am today if not for god's greatest creation - strippers. So it was inevitable that I would at some point end up at a strip club during the trip. Having lusted for them, dated them, and had sex with them on the job, it would be completely out of character for me to not make this third stop on my tour. After all, what would an Ozzy-like comeback be without its fair share of debauchery - and since drugs were out, boobies would have to do.

I hadn't been to a strip club since I'd broke up with my ex a couple years ago, but it was like riding a bike. Walking into that dark room and sniffing at that intoxicating mix of scented oil, cigarettes, and sweat was like being back in the crib. The club owner instantly recognized me and rushed over to see where and how I'd been. We caught up for a few minutes before I patted him on the shoulder and took my exit with a hurried, "Anyway Jim, boobies await."

I sat down on my old couch, and much to my surprise, I recognized a few of the faces. One girl in particular I remembered really well - she'd always been one that got away. For a multitude of reasons, we'd never hooked up.

I decided that I had to mark one last piece of territory before my comeback tour was over.

It didn't take much effort to convince her that she had to see the inside of my fabulous hotel room. As two in the morning rolled around, me and my bride-to-be for the evening took our leave and headed back to my hotel. I'll spare you the details.

It was now monday morning and my flight left that afternoon. I had one final stop to make before closure was complete.

I headed to my old office building. I didn't go inside or initiate contact with any of my old co-workers (see the above two caveats for my trip), but I did park outside the building and reminisce for an hour or two. I saw a few of the cars my old friends drove, I imagined what life would be like if I were still there - and occasionally, I ducked down really low in my seat if I spotted one of them.

It was a nice feeling. I've always had aspirations to become more than I am, and being there helped me realize that while life there was stable, it wasn't exactly vaulting me forward. That job did nothing for my insatiable appetite to become something bigger. I was now content with having moved on from there and being forced to take that leap into the unknown.

Adios, suckers.

As I drove off, I glanced over at my old doctor's office right down the street from the office and chuckled, remembering my last visit with her. I won't go into too many details, but let's just say it was on the heels of a binge-filled week and I wasn't exactly myself. I hope I left her with a few stories.

I was now officially done with my comeback tour. So I made my way to the airport for one final cavity search and a flight back to California.

It was good to be back.


Emily Blake said...

You know, I've never heard of anyone undergoing their downward spiral in North Carolina. Usually that's where people go to recouperate and start over.

Your self destruction makes mine look like a trip to King's Dominion.

I'm glad you didn't die.

IQCrash said...

If you're going to do something, do it right - I always say. ;)