Work…work..work. Seems to me when I graduated from college about 40 or 50 years ago, my social circle has been slowly, yet steadily decreasing. This did not really take me by surprise. College, for me, was the ultimate in social-butterflying. I was sequestered in a sleepy Minnesota town, with nothing but: the required reading, 2 bowling alleys, 1 movie theater and 163 bars. Honestly, what’s a guy to do?
Moving back to the smallest state in the union was a good thing in that, I love being able to drive 50 minutes and be at either the ocean or the mountains. I love New York City being 2 ½ hours away. I love the East Coast attitude and of course, our beloved, World Champion Boston Red Sox!Still, I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss having all of my friends within a four-digit phone call. My friends here are fantastic, wonderful, and many other words I don’t care to type right now. However, when I took the road less traveled and went off to college, I was a bit naïve in thinking things would stay the same here. I came home to engagements, marriages and really cool people who moved far, far away.
Gone are the days of hanging out in parking lots, drinking coffee until 3 in the morning. Responsibility and wanderlust have replaced our nocturnal need for caffeine. In many ways I think this was a good thing, otherwise we would have been paved into permanent fixtures in out local coffee and donut selling establishment. Nowadays I am the lone, rogue agent. Neither tied down by bond of marriage or engagement or even significant other, I sometimes struggle to battle the loneliness. There are only so many nights of must see TV, movie rentals, video games and reading of books you can take before you start to wonder if there is anything else.
My place of employment is such that at the end of the day, you just need some alone time, myself included. However, last night, I had tickets to the URI/UMASS basketball game and ended up not going for lack of a companion. Now don’t get me wrong, I was not looking for someone to play smootchie with, (not that I would have turned it down, if it was possible) but even all of my guy friends were other wise occupied. I burned through the battery on my cell phone trying to get a hold of people, saving my best friend as a final hope. The call went something like this:
JJ: Hey man, what’s going on?
BF: Not much, how are you doing?
JJ: Good…listen what are you up to tonight?
BF: Nothing, why what's up?
JJ: Well I have an extra ticket to the RI/UMASS game, interested?
BF: * groan of disappointment * love to dude, but the wife would kill me for even asking. I thought maybe you needed help moving furniture or something.
JJ: Wow, you can’t even ask…that’s swell.
BF: Yeah well, if you ever get married, I’ll tell you about it when you’re older.
JJ: What the hell does that mean?
BF: Nothing, it just means that I can’t go. I can’t tell if I ask if it’s gonna set the wife off, and I’d rather not chance it.
JJ: So what’s it like living in a minefield?
JJ: Never mind…I’ll give you a call this weekend.
BF: Later buddy.
And thereby lies the tale. I left several voicemails with other people, all who sent reply voicemails saying they had things to take care of. With all of the technology we have to make things easier and faster for us, seems like no one has any free time.
Long story short, I ended up staying in and watching Law & Order: SVU until my eyes bled. I swear there is some station on cable that runs that show on a continuous loop. Just one more reason I am going to cancel my cable service. Since I am finally kicking my girlfriend (the TV) to the curb, I have decided to get some satellite radio up in here. No commercials will be gooooood.
I just finished chuck bukowski’s how to be a good writer. Apparently I am going to have to find more women to hang out with if I want to be successful. Yet another mountain to climb…whatever.
Anybody wanna hang out?