Thursday, November 6, 2014

After The Thrill Is Gone

It's 1:42 in the afternoon and I'm running on three and a half hours of sleep, a five-hour energy and two rolls of sushi. I've got another three or so hours left on this drive and rather than resort to sunflower seeds, a Mountain Dew injection into my femoral artery, or singing the entire soundtrack to Fiddler On The Roof to keep my eyes open, I think I'll just talk into a microphone and blog about the past 10 days of my life. That seems like a much safer alternative.

For full effect, download "Birds Flew Backwards" by Doves and at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.

It's the end of yet another long, another grueling, another how the curseword are my eyes still even open at this point, week on the road. I've seen it all. No seriously, I really have. I’ve seen Heaven, I've seen Hell, and every pit stop in between. I've twice eaten Oprah's famous Mac & Cheese down at Pike's Market, been entertained by Tim Robbins reciting Fahrenheit 451 somewhere in between miles 273 and 957 on my odometer, bummed tickets off a half-drunk scalper for booth seats to the Trail Blazers, seen what looked like a three year-old breast-feeding in open public, ate cheesecake for breakfast, breath mints for lunch, a bag of popcorn for dinner, and have I mentioned yet that I really have to pee?

For the record, I think my insides hate me. When your diet includes street vendor pizza, greasy Chicken Parmesan, pineapple upside down cake, apple fritters the size of the new iPhones, secondhand pretzels, and fish tacos all stuffed down a throat with a plunger, doused with shots of Dr. Pepper every hour on the hour, and then insulted by running a 5K after midnight, you know there is going to be a problem down below. At this point I’d be on strike if I had any association with my intestinal track.

This is the life of a man on the road and I think I have near reached the end. True story. I'm tired kids, I really am. I know most 29-year-olds have a spark in their eye, a skip to their step, and have no problem playing Dew Pong and Crash Bandicoot until 4 in the morning. But that's not me anymore. I am old, aged, a batch of dandelion wine in a beat up cardboard case that’s been sitting on the back shelf of your Grandma’s pantry since the Nixon administration. This job has worn me out. There, I said it. Tell my boss. I'll be filing my paperwork on Monday.

I'm jaded kids. And don't tell my little sister what I just wrote because she might be confused that this post is entirely all about her. Four years ago this trip was exciting, arousing, a highlight reel of a young punk recruiter discovering sites he’d misplaced on Geography tests in middle school. I was seeing the world wearing a dense pair of higher education goggles, chiseling memories and journal entries I would revel about to my posterity in the years to come. I was young. I was ambitious. I was foolishly in love with life on the road.

But things change. Months on a calendar dramatically drop off the pages, and those thrilling moments once held in such high regard have now become boxed-up reflexes packed away in beat up suitcases staining the back seat of my car.

I think I have had enough. And I don’t say that in a 1850’s Cowboy toting a pistol, this-town-ain’t-big-enough-for-the-both-of-us kind of way, but more in a glossy-eyed, third grade-daydreaming, I-think-the-grass-is-greener-somewhere-else kind of tone. You know I L-word the job I show up to every morning. The people, the concept, the environment, heck I even L-word my boss that I can’t stand, if that makes any sense at all.  But there comes a point where we all reach our ceiling, our personal boundaries, our limit. You know it, and I know it. We are reading the last few sentences on a particular chapter of our life, unsure what will happen when the text unbearably comes to a halt.

I am at that point right now. And who knows, maybe so are you.

For some reason these long trips home always trigger some kind of archaic sentiment about the direction I am headed. Maybe it’s my lack of sleep and double cocktail of five hour energy’s doing the talking, but when you wake up in one state, fly to another, and drive to a third all before lunch, you know something screwy is in the works. Whatever it is, I think it’s safe to send a memo to the fat lady, raise up the last curtain, and put the coins over my eyes.

It's time to go.

What do you think?