June 23, 2011 – Song 231

I remembered the funniest thing today.

Well, funny to me anyway. ♥

Fucking bugs. Song 231.

After I lost my mind the first time and dropped out of the Philosophy department at De Paul I did something big. I packed up and I moved. All the way to North Carolina.

At the time my friend Laura lived in Raleigh with her boyfriend and one night on the phone we decided I should too. I had planned to go to State for a year and then transfer to UNC.

So off I went. Besides being a student, my friend was also a waitress at a place called Charlie Goodnights. Suddenly, I was spending my days walking through a humidity like nothing I had ever known, dodging bugs larger than I had ever seen and my nights moonlighting as an underage stowaway in a comedy club.

I lasted two weeks.

It wasn’t right. And I knew it somehow. But I needed help.

And then one morning I woke up and flipped open the handbook to figure out where my Shakespeare class was. But the book opened instead to a page containing the fees for withdrawing from the university, listed by date. That exact day was the last possible day to get a full refund. So I slammed the book shut. Literally.

That night when my friends got home I told them I was leaving, tomorrow. So, of course, we had a party. And at one point I got a mosquito bite on my leg. Fucking bugs.

The next morning the bite was as big as half a golf ball. And as the drive home went on the pain in my leg expanded. Around Indiana it hurt to stand on. My leg was full of fire from the ankle to the hip. I stayed that night in a hotel trying not to flip out.

By the time I reached my parents driveway I had no other choice but to fall out of the car yelling “Gang green! Scurvy!”, get immediately into my Mom’s car and go straight to the ER. It turned out I had blood poisoning, which simply required a shot in the ass and a couple of days with my leg up.

So there I am, a two-time college drop out, with no idea what the fuck to do, on my parent’s couch watching T.V. I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I didn’t even call any friends to tell them I was back.

But then Poof! A couple of days later, I ran into an old friend, Bryan, at the gas station anyway. He asked what I was up to, and so, I told him the truth. “Nothing”. And then a couple of days after that, I got a call from our mutual friend, Ryan. He said since I wasn’t doing anything he thought I should come work where he worked, at Reckless Records, on Broadway.

And so, I did.

Reckless Records has been in Chicago for 22 years. And I won’t date myself too precisely here, but I will say that my first Christmas party was at Lounge Ax and at that time, I was still a stowaway.

It is what it is and you are what you are and you do what you do.

Although it feels good to think that even before you knew to look, you could still see the sign.

That town just wasn’t big enough for the both of us.

•••••••

They still play this and sell this at the Drive In Theater in Door County, WI.

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