ten years gone

Things are finally moving and shaking in places I’ve been waiting for them to move and shake. And that means I can start talking about them on Sounds Familiar soon enough. Until then, though, it’s the same-old same-old. The Gods of Northern California still have the oven on “broil,” and each day is so miserable I don’t even like being outdoors. Everything absorbs heat and then radiates it, the cars keep the garage sweaty well into the evening hours, concrete stays warm to the touch until the wee hours of the morning. Each afternoon I eagerly await that moment when I arrive home from work and can strip off the unneeded layers of clothes and get down to shorts, a t-shirt, and bare feet. As I’m pulling my shirt over my head, I imagine it as taking off an electric blanket, removing that outer layer of clothes that’s just been soaking up the sun. I immediately feel cooler. A man of my… stature… is not built for this kinda heat. Give me mild days and I’m happiest. You’ll know when that happens, as I start fawning over the Fallishness of things when those halcyon days arrive.

The house is a complete wreck again; one of those additive, snowballing kind of wrecks that just gets worse by the day… and more frustrating as well. I hate it. It begins pester me whenever I inhabit the place, my only escape being leaving for work each morning and letting it fester until I return again each evening. For all my complaining, I’m still sitting her ignoring it as I write. Oh, it’s there, looming right behind me; the menacing shadow of an ironing board left out for days, a table still in the wrong place from painting, unfinished half-painted walls, looking like the march of the yellow fungus growing on them is stalled in rough lines. Ack, I do hate it you know. I’m pretty anal when it comes to things like neatness… and I don’t think that’ll ever change about me. Sharaun, on the other hand, has about as high a tolerance for clutter as kids these days do for rubella (whatever that is). I’m trying to resign myself to the fact that it’ll never change, and if I want to have the place be ever-clean, I’m gonna have to pony up and maintain it that way.

Back to Florida in three days. Ten years have gone by and it’s customary to re-convene with your graduating high school class. I’m not looking forward to having such an abbreviated trip “home” (I do still consider the place home, for whatever reason), but I am, in fact, looking forward to the whole business of reuniting. Thinking about it, ten years doesn’t seem all that long – but when I think about what all I’ve been through since my last year of high school… good lord it’s been a long time. Flashback to 12th grade, and you’d find a skinnier me, fooling around on his long-time girlfriend with the willing. Trying to do right by his newfound religion and thinking only the slightest about college and “a future.” Things were looking up, my folks had given me the little red Nissan for graduation, and I’d managed to score my dream job hawking wax at the local mom-‘n’-pop record store. Having moved on from fast food and go-fer positions at the local CPA, I was ready to tread the cheap carpet of the retail world. Breezing my way through the no-more-challenging-than-high-school community college curriculum and blowing the multiple-scholarship windfall on things I can’t remember. Man, those were some good days. Lots less to worry about… that’s for sure. My biggest daily concern is when Jeremy would get home so we could go smoke menthols on the porch and catch up.

Did you know I won a cruise to the Bahamas at my “keep-’em-sober, keep-’em-alive” school-sanctioned graduation party? Yeah, I totally did. And, since I was 18 at the time, I could totally go too. I took Jeremy, and we road-tripped down to Miami to catch the smallest cruise liner I’ve ever seen, the no doubt affordable Dolphin IV. Three nights, four days. My first night on board I hit the triple-7s and took $450 back to the cabin. We had a great time, sleeping in hammocks on private islands, smoking triple-price-for-the-whiteboy Cubans, parasailing, and getting robbed by a local named “Deuce” (really). And although I know many look back on their own with detest, my high school years were not that bad at all. I had a good time, and I’m actually kind of exciting about seeing some folks. I’m sure I’ll be writing about the whole thing, as it’s bound to produce some good material.

As I go, I thought it was interesting that, despite JK Rowlings’ insistence that the latest Harry Potter book not be released in electronic form, entrepreneurial pirates have manages to scan and proofread the entire book – producing a complete and accurate copy within twelve hours of the book’s on-sale date. What’s more, they’ve also made an audio-book version available… all within one day of the books release. Things like that make you wonder, is there really every going to be a way to “secure” any kind of media? Makes me think that, despite various industries’ attempts to protect their content, the pirates will always be one step ahead of them. Seems the best you can do is change the public’s opinion what constitutes “stealing” in regards to digital media… an uphill battle, it would seem.

OK then, g’night friends and lovers. Until tomorrow.

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