Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nurse the Hate: Hate the Endless Winter





It has become obvious that there will be no end to this winter.  Each bleak frozen day blends seamlessly into the next.  The ten day forecast offers no relief.  Everything is wet and dirty. All hope is lost.  Right now snow is blowing sideways.  I can't make out even the simplest landmarks.  Weather reports have all descended into Fear Machine mode using words like "treacherous" and inferring that to even step outside is putting Your Family's Safety at great risk.  It takes amazing self control not to jump into the car with a backpack, drive south, and not stop until you can get out of the car without suffering frostbite to the extremities.  These are the hardest days in this region of the country.

Perhaps I should consider going on Spring Break.  Why does that have to be reserved only for 18-22 year olds.  They haven't been doing shit all year except playing beer pong, plagiarizing term papers, and trying to bump genitalia with anyone willing.  Why them?  Why can't I go on Spring Break?  I don’t mean heading to a college student heavy Florida town and participating in a wet t-shirt contest.  Besides the sheer amount of time it would take to shave my chest, I can’t imagine that the prize money in those contests would warrant the cost of my getting breast implants.  There is no way my crappy health insurance will cover that.  I need to be more pragmatic here.

The last time I went on a Spring Break I was 21 and went to Daytona Beach with a good friend from college.  We bought one of those packages that were offered on bulletin boards outside of the student union.  The offer was amazingly fucked up, but as a true indication of how much people will put up with just to get out of the snow, we didn’t bat an eye.  For something like $200 a person we got a room on the beach at Daytona.  The hitch was that we shared the room with two other guys, complete strangers.  To think that we climbed into a car in Ohio to drive to Daytona Beach to shack up at a hotel with two strangers for six days is beyond comprehension.  “HI!  I’m Greg!  I’ll take this bed over here!  What’s your name?  Dahmer?  Jeff Dahmer?  Cool.  Good to meet you.  Let’s get drunk and pass out so you can cut my head off and rifle through my stuff!”

The impact of thousands of drunk college students on a hotel’s amenities is hard to put in scale.  Our bathroom had an enormous hole punched into the tiles which had been “repaired” by having a plastic bag taped over it.  Had we had Trip Advisor at that time, I think I would have deducted a star on that one.  The hallways smelled like vomit.  The toilets backed up.  The pool area was filled with broken chairs.  Yet, no one cared as at least it wasn’t 15 degrees with sleet blowing sideways.  It was sunny, there were plenty of plastic cups with beer, and there was a true sense of no ramifications on any reckless behavior.

I recall my buddy going to the room next door to spend some quality time with a girl he met from Lansing Community College.  I also recall with great clarity his return to our hellhole room a short time later with a bit of a limp, the result of an episode of oral sex that he claimed was “like putting my dick in a garbage disposal”.  I like to think that right now there is a man in the greater Lansing Michigan area that married that woman, and now after years of this activity has actually built up thick calluses on the shaft of his penis.  As a party trick he can pound nails into patio deck railings.  After a few Coors Lights at the summer barbeque, the same thing happens every year.  “Mike!  Do that thing!”  Bam! Bam! Bam!

The real excitement on that trip happened when he asked if we could head out a day earlier, and make a quick stop in a small town along the coast.  Confused, I asked why we would ever want to leave a high society hot spot like Daytona Beach.  For God’s sake, MTV was sponsoring a free concert with Mike and the Mechanics and The Outfield tomorrow!  How could we miss that?  That was when he told me that we had to stop and see his ex-girlfriend who had given birth to their child a year earlier.  Um, what?  I don’t recall you mentioning knocking up some girl, having her leave the area in shame, and then later having a child in the last two years in which we have spent almost every waking moment together.   
  
We stopped at a depressing cluster home community in some Florida coast shit town where his ex-girlfriend had been exiled to live with her mother.  We were unshaven, smelled like depravity, and were probably slightly drunk.  To say her mother wasn’t pleased to see us is an understatement.  The pure hatred she manufactured in her glare was off putting even to me, and I was just getting the shrapnel by association.  I’m not saying she wasn’t justified.  My friend had gotten her pregnant, and then turned to his wealthy family who unleashed a group of legal jackals to wash him as clean from the incident as possible.  It didn’t appear to have left anyone with a good taste in their mouths.

That was when my friend decided to get “caught up” with the ex-girlfriend with a drive to town, and they left me alone with the mother and infant.  Who the hell puts a guy like me at age 21after a five day bender in charge of an infant?  What kind of sick individual allows that to happen?  Yet, there I was trapped at this tiny house with an angry strange woman and an 8 month old child.  I don’t know how long they were gone.  I will swear on a stack of Bibles it was “forever”.  It didn’t go well.  As the mother seethed and would only provide one word answers to my questions, I ran out of small talk in about 20 minutes.  I then played with the kid and tried to remember if there was a bar we passed on the way in that I could walk to as some sort of oasis.  This wasn't the sort of "Spring Break" I had been promised on MTV's 24 hour coverage.  This was complete bullshit.

When they eventually returned, we crashed out in a spare room.  I slept next to a sewing machine on an inflatable mattress.  My friend slunk out of the room after the mother had gone to sleep and went to his ex-girlfriend's room.  Nothing like dragging a gal through the mud in a paternity case as a warm up for romance!  Something must have gone horribly wrong through, because soon after sunup he woke me up and we had to make a hasty retreat to our car.  There were no goodbyes.  We slipped out a sliding glass door and threw our duffels in the trunk.  The noise of the trunk closing must have woken the household.  As we backed out of the driveway, the mother glared at us through a slight part in the living room curtains.  We made the 18 hour drive home.  We never talked about the episode.

I'm looking for a slightly different experience.  Perhaps I need to book some sort of Southern Tour for the band.  We can go play the musical hotbeds of Jacksonville FL, and Charleston SC.  We can learn Allman Brothers covers, and maybe even the dreaded "Wagon Wheel" so despised by Nashville musicians.  We will eat at Huddle Houses and Crystals, carefully avoiding too much sweet tea at the risk of contracting diabetes in the span of a week.  I will purchase a "Roll Tide" key chain at a Pilot Truck Stop.  The van will have a "Petty For President" sticker, this time all of us knowing the Petty in question is "Richard" and not "Tom".  Hotel clerks and waitresses will enthusiastically say "Bless Your Heart" to us, while their actual meaning is "Fuck off Yankee".  We will stop at every Boot Shop and Gun Store off the interstates.  It will be a trip for the ages.

Another five inches of snow has fallen.  I have to shovel the driveway.  Somebody call The Covered Dish in Gainesville... See if they have an open Friday in March.  We're coming...

   

2 Comments:

At February 18, 2014 at 6:41:00 PM EST , Blogger vfh159 said...

It's 6:40 p.m. here, sun just went down and it's 66 degrees. Expect 70 something tomorrow. We'll talk again at the end of August.

 
At February 19, 2014 at 2:38:00 PM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I don't even know how to wrap my head around that.

 

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