For the past 25 days, I have greeted the sunrise with the same short prayer– that those I am fortunate to have in my life will enjoy a glorious day. And, assuming that same glowing ember dips beneath the horizon tonight, I will have graciously thanked 25 sunsets as well.
Thinking about nothing but yourself over two consecutive 6-hour stretches isn’t as easy as you think, even if you are a Flemish Belgian with a gorgeous head of hair and a slightly inflated sense of self-worth. I spent the bulk of last weekend penetrating an arboreal tunnel that splits scrubbed limestone bluffs from the alluvial plains that follow the Missouri River. Superman’s Fortress of Solitude would be my Katy Trail– a 146 mile sojourn connecting Columbia, MO with historic downtown St. Charles. I split it up over two days, with a stop for the night near Rhineland at a B&B, where I had planned on doing little more than eating a meal in Hermann and crashing for some Zs in a small room with my family. Little did I know that this anticipated mere distraction would serve as one of my family’s biggest summer surprises. Les Lavandes (http://www.leslavandesbandb.com/) is an exquisite B&B experiences. I HIGHLY recommend it. I may even blog an extensive review about it next week.
The isolation and monotony of the trail was even more glorious than expected. I travelled light, with just a credit card, some cash, tubes, air, water, my Nano and some amazing headphones (Shure SE215.) My playlist was assembled with the specific intention of being light, yet thought-provoking. It worked. One song I managed to listen to for the entire McBaine-to-North Jefferson leg. I don’t care what anyone says: You simply CANNOT pay too much for a good pair of headphones. If you’re still using the “white” headphones, stop now. You are cheating yourself out of a superior music experience. I credit them, coupled with the serenity of the trail and the ebullience of my own spirit for deriving within me a new decree. That my life will now be devoted to the tireless pursuit of perfection: Of not settling for what is possible, but striving, instead, for the impossible. And learning how to cope with the disappointment for when it inevitably falls short. Because this process will require me to transfer the focus of my energies elsewhere (nerd alert– the concept of enthalpy demands it!) something must go.
This is why I bid you farewell, old friend, pal of mine for over 24 years. We’ve had great, great times. Birthdays, weddings, holidays, bachelor parties. Mmmmm, wineries. Awesomeness. But you got greedy. In the past couple of years, you’ve been consuming an unfair share of my time and resources. And I’ve taken on some fantastic new responsibilities that are way too important to allow you to interfere. Sorry bro, but you gotta go. And should you return, you will be treated as an unwanted guest. And I should warn you that things between us will get really shitty if you try to come back for even just a few days. Oh, I don’t doubt for a second that you will shoot for the occasional pop ‘n stop. We have waaay too much history for me to deny this reality. So I’ll have a little surprise waiting for you for when this eventually happens. Also, I am putting you on notice: You have officially been replaced. And her curves and angles have succeeded in captivating my imagination. And my new addictions, muscle fatigue and figuratively kicking any and all types of asses, permit me to actually like myself in the morning. Ha! Can you imagine that shit! Hasta luego, mi amigo borracho!
There are other areas of my life affected by this pursuit of perfection. Most notably, I’m going to be more frank and direct. And I won’t filter myself any more either. I should warn you: I’m going to be a terrible baseball player, as I will be swinging for the fences on every pitch. Know now that I am feeling better today than I have ever before and that if you want to booze it up in front of me, I strongly encourage you to do so. I know I would! Just don’t treat me any differently. And as a reward for your indifference, I promise you the sort of good friend that I have always been. Except this one won’t try to stick you with a bar tab and will be glad to give you a ride home. Peace.
Have a great Fourth of July! Happy Birthday America!