Today is the longest day of 2008.
We have close to 15 hours of daylight to spend however we want.
It is the first time since 1975 that summer didn't start on June 21, and even at that, in '75, it happened on the 22nd.
Overall, I think 2008 has been an anomaly since the get-go.
Six months ago, a day before the winter solstice (the longest night of the year), I spent the night in a pill induced stupor gearing up to assume the position of my band's "former" lead guitarist.
Thankfully, that didn't happen.
Thankfully, they believed my intentions were in earnest and gave me another chance.
Thankfully, I got my shit together.
And thankfully, as I sit in my apartment typing this entry, I am also thinking of what I might need to acquire before we hit the road next week to go on tour with my band, Drunk Stuntmen.
It's a short 5 day tour (or tourette, as I like to say), down to Nashville for a show. After that, it's 3 stops in North Carolina, and then we head home.
I'm excited for a few reasons.
Mostly, it is because the mere fact that I'm going this far away from home connotes that my family crisis is, for the time being, under control.
I'm excited to get back out there with my rock band and make some noise--well-honed, crafted, and directional, but noise nonetheless.
I'll get to see some old friends in Raleigh, one of my all-time, favorite places to be, and have some of the finest barbecue that a human has a right to enjoy.
Hush puppies, chopped coleslaw, soft, simple, white-bread rolls, baked beans, and sweet tea with lemon.
Food of the gods, and it's only fifteen hours drive away.
Oh, and I almost forgot about the Krispy Kreme doughnuts--hot out of the fryer and glistening from a waterfall of glaze.
My diet will still be in effect, just in case you were wondering. I'm just not going to eat a whole dozen of 'em.
I'm excited to take pictures and keep writing and posting every day so as to bring everyone along for the ride--swears, put-downs, holey socks, fits of uncontrollable laughter and all.
I'm excited to get to a swimming hole or two and splash around in the crisp NC water.
And I'm excited to hit my six month sobriety mark while I'm doing it.
December, 27 2007 seems like a lifetime ago, and for all intents and purposes, it is.
Foggy, sarcastic, bloated, annoying, pungent, and poor. That's what I was all about back when the days started to get longer. And as time went on, I realized that this may not be as difficult as I thought.
The conversations I had with my aunt back then almost always entailed a good chunk of talk about my progress. I remember saying how I couldn't wait for a day, sometime in the future, when we could have a conversation that didn't somehow revolve around substance abuse. It was hard to imagine it back then, but I knew it would happen.
Those days have thankfully arrived.
Now, instead of drugs and alcohol, we talk about strawberries and asparagus and the weather and her cats and my guitars and my car and her exploits and my exploits and the gym and how long the grass is getting and how she's excited for me to be able to go on this trip ...
... and it's like I always pictured it. It's heartwarming. It's encouraging. It's honest, compassionate, and loving.
It wasn't too long ago--before the shit hit the fan--that we didn't mention my substance abuse at all. It wasn't because it had taken a backseat to the more sublime facets of life like it has today.
It was because my substance abuse was driving the car and holding a gun to my side and if anyone said a word there was gonna' be trouble.
As I sit here, on the longest day of the year, I can still hear that carjacker. He's figuratively hog-tied and stuffed in the trunk, occasionally thumping with his boots so loud that I have to turn the radio up so I won't hear him.
I'd love to be done with him--turn him in to the proper authorities.
I'm sort of always in the process of handing him over, but I simply cannot. For I would fear for my safety to avail myself of his presence.
See, if I turn him in, they'll book him, and fingerprint him, and hold him for a while ...
... and then they'll let him go.
No, I'd rather keep him safe where I can hear him thumping away. I'd prefer to always have a reminder that he is very much still alive, never letting me forget that he once held that gun to my side and told me to keep my mouth shut and go along with whatever he said or it would end in a very big mess--one that I would be in no position to clean up. And he's now been in there, being very good and not causing too much of a commotion, for almost half the year.
And now I have to leave town again for a few days.
Even though its a four day trip I'm going to bring my big suitcase.
'Cause our van doesn't have a trunk.
Thanks for reading.
Now get out there and enjoy every second of this day as if they might start taking them away from you.
For those out there who would like to catch Drunk Stuntmen on our tourette, please click here
to get all the information.