I had a friend in college who used get down sometimes for no apparent reason. During his down times he’d say that he was “in a funk.” I first remember hearing the term on some baseball wrapup on ESPN. I never really thought too much about it, I guess because I never really experienced a “funk.” I don’t know how to describe what’s been looming over me lately, but something is there. Maybe this is what a funk feels like.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a really happy person, and I’m quite satisfied with every aspect of my life. It’s not that I’m overtly upset or depressed about anything, it’s more like there a “shadow” of something hanging just out of sight, just barely there enough to where I can sense it. The best way I can describe it is that I feel like there should be some “transition” coming up in my life. I’ll try to explain.
All my life I’ve tracked or measured or gauged things in terms of large events: graduating high school, graduating college, getting married, getting a job, etc. Each event is like cresting a hill on a roller coaster, I enjoy myself while all the while anticipating the nearing precipice. Then I pass that marker and start another ride, awaiting the next slope and drop. It’s like I’ve always seen milestones off in the future, and I subconsciously wait for them. Sometimes I just get this feeling like I’m poised on the edge of one of those roller coaster drops – but this time I don’t know what it could be. I feel like I’m expecting something to happen soon.
Sorry, psychobabble stuff because I’m bored. I actually wrote paragraphs very similar to those about a month ago, but never posted them because they sounded dumb. So now I’m revisiting the thought and posting it.
I used to write little one paragraph entries in my journals called “I Remember.” I’d set down fond memories in abridged form – in hopes that one day I’d have totally forgotten them and be delighted to read and recall them. Well for this blog I wanted to write a story from my youth down, but couldn’t decide which one. So I’m gonna do a few one-paragraph versions of a few I considered.
We all told our parents we were spending the night at each others’ houses. I think it was the only time we tried that particular ruse, since it was just too risky. We drove to West Cocoa and bought a $20 off some guy on the corner. I drove my red Nissan Sentra Joey had his car. We ended up driving out to an abandoned drive-in movie theater that had long since turned into a grown over forest. The only thing that hinted at the place’s previous life was a streetlamp standing in the middle of some pine trees. We parked and enjoyed copious amounts of cannabis. We laughed, talked, saw Batman in the clouds, and finally decided just to sleep out there in our cars. I remember waking up to water dripping on my leg. The inside of the car had filled with condensation from our breathing. We woke up early, covered Joeys car (containing a still sleeping Joey and Kyle) with thrown out couch cushions, and headed to McD’s for breakfast.
It was high school and Joey was spending the night at my place. We snuck out the window and headed to a party at Skyview, the abandoned drive-in mentioned above. On the overgrown dirt road leading into the party loop, Joey found a full gallon bottle of gin. I think he drank about half before we left, and maybe more on the way home. I’ve never seen anyone that drunk. I asked another friend to help me carry him. We had walked nearly five miles to get to the party. We each slung an arm across our shoulders and hauled his passed out body home. When we got home there was no way we were getting in the window with him, so I just bit the bullet and came through the front door. Justin helped me carry Joey into my room and drop him on the floor. I woke in the morning to find Joey had pissed himself overnight. I remember trying to explain to my mom that I just “wanted to clean my floor and vacuum.”
We were too young to drive, none of us had ever tasted beer. Joey’s parents were out of town and he knew where a spare key to the car was. We took the car and drove around town until I spotted someone older that I knew and persuaded him to buy us four big bottles of Red Bull malt liquor. Once back at Joey’s house, I suppressed vomit with each swallow – standing over the sink the whole time, fully expecting not to be able to finish the bottle. Once buzzed, we again took the car over to my ex-girlfriend’s house where Joey dropped three of us off and left. Somehow the cops came. I remember telling the cops we were camping and out for a walk, the same as we’d told our parents. Dispatch called each parent and we nervously awaited as she read each parents’ reply over the radio. All three of our parents said “return to campsite.” I remember the cops were so cool: “Have you boys been drinking tonight?” “No sir.” “Well you smell like a god-damned brewery.” Andy threw up in his mouth and swallowed it back down.
Joey, Kyle, and I snuck out of my house and headed over to a semi-cute girl’s house. We always used to carry our Zippo lighters with us everywhere we went. This girl was probably cuter than I now give her credit for, since I was judging her with the idealistic eyes of a high school male. I remember she took Kyle’s lighter and stuck it down her pants, we were in her driveway. She told him to reach in and get it. I was so jealous, but that is one of the more vivid memories I have. I thought that was such forward flirting – and I loved it.
I remember I had just kissed Her for the first time. Sharaun was supposed to be busy with Vacation Bible School at church. Her and I laid on the bed, and Pavement’s Wowee Zowee was playing on my stereo. After kissing we just laid there together. That’s when my door swung open and Sharaun walked in. I had my head on the pillow, so all I heard was my door open – then slam shut again. Then Her turned to me, eyes wide, and said “That was Sharaun.” I got up and found Sharaun in the bathroom. I promised her that nothing had happened, and while we talked behind the closed door She took it upon herself to leave. She and I used to joke that the world might explode if we ever kissed. Oh, it exploded… right in my face. Thus began my eight-month lost weekend. The only time I’ve in the past ten years I’ve not been with Sharaun.
We skipped lunch at school to drive out into the woods and check on the marijuana plant we were cultivating. A week earlier we had dug a nice 6″ deep bed about 100 yards into the woods, at the end of a self-made machete-cleared trail. We started our plant in a little flower pot. After a couple weeks it had flourished in the pot, and we could tell it was going to be a female. We were going to transplant it into the bed we had dug – and needed to fill it with fertilizer. Easy enough. We headed to Wal Mart to pick up some Miracle Grow and on the way out simply drove up to the fertilizer pallets in the parking lot and helped ourselves to 400lbs of fine manure, then headed out to do the transplant. Apparently we had been in and out of the woods too many times, and a nearby preschool had reported our car as “suspicious.” Upon getting to the plant, we found it had died and withered overnight. Out of frustration I uprooted the plant and tossed it into the woods. As we came out of our trail there was a cruiser with two cops waiting. They didn’t see me at first so I ducked back into the woods and warned the others. We quickly chose a “talker” whose story we’d all go with no matter what. Unfortunately the dumbest one of us proclaimed himself talker, and we had to follow whatever he might come up with. That was how we ended up explaining that four 16 year old kids were “building a fort” in the woods. Using 400lbs of fertilizer to “level” the ground upon which we’d build the fort. As for the Miracle Grow, our talker’s grandfather apparently loved tomatoes – but could “smell them from miles,” so we were going to grow some for him at our fort? as a surprise. Yes. Seriously. That was our story. They knew what we were doing but couldn’t prove it. We got away without as much as a call to our folks.