So we three went out last night- me, Matt and his future wife Alicia. Supposed to be my "going-away" party, I guess. But I gotta tell you, I wasn't in a very festive mood. I'm so ambivalent about this new job. Everyone is acting like it's going to be a big vacation in paradise, but it'll be far from that. For one thing, it's work. For another thing, I'm leaving the town and the people I love for a minimum of two years.
So we went to the Seville Quarter here in Pensacola, one of these places that has multiple bars and multiple bands. Matt and I like live music, and we'll sit through the worst garage-level cover-bands if we have to. So far, we've only walked out on a few. On the other hand, we've seen/heard some really great live music being made. The three of us parked ourselves at a table in a big room- a former warehouse-turned-bar, complete with lasers and disco lights. The band was one step above going-through-the-motions. You could tell they'd played all of these songs many, many times before. We hate that. On the other hand, it must suck to be in your 30's and knowing that your "big break" ain't coming anytime soon and you're destined to playing other people's music for drunks in smoky bars for the rest of your life.
And smoky, it was. Tables with gaggles of young girls, all with cigarettes dangling out of their mouths and veritable mushroom clouds of smoke billowing above. Just something so unattractive about smoking women. Do they think it makes them look sophisticated and sexy? Just the opposite. For me, at least.
Alicia wasn't in the best of moods; a friend of hers had recently died. Matt and I were somber. We've been friends for a long time. He's been my best travelling/copilot/camping/canoeing/hiking/amusement-park-going/pool-playing/drinking buddy. So what did we do? Drink, of course! I was nursing my usual Rum and Cokes. Matt was downing his Long Island Ice Teas (yikes!) at an incredible rate. How he drinks those things I'll never know. But then, there was a time when I drank only tequila, and lots of it. Bad times, those. God must really protect drunks, because He saw me safely home many a night when I probably should have been in jail. Or dead.
My previous heavy drinking days must be catching up with me. Sometimes I can have a couple of glasses of wine and get a nice buzz going. But as many drinks as I had last night, I didn't even get buzzed. "Buzzed" is usually what I aim for. And usually I go blowing right past that to commode-hugging-drunk. Hey, what can I tell you, I like to drink. But last night I might as well have been drinking straight Coke. Would've been cheaper, anyway.
So it wasn't exactly the high-spirited, celebratory night we'd hoped. I know I should be happy about this new episode of my life starting, but I'm not. I've made a nice little life here in Pensacola. I wish I could walk away cleanly, but I can't.