Belly To Belly

Friday September 7th, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   I always knew it, but it was really driven home yesterday how important it is to be face to face with good people to maintain relationships. Emails and phone calls are nice, but nothing beats an actual belly to belly visit. I’ve done far too little of that lately, and I need to start doing it more.

It’s just not possible to know when an encounter with someone will be the very last one that is ever had, and when that person is gone all that’s left are memories. I’m still taken back about the passing of Wild Bill Bauer recently, and I can remember our last encounter at a show he booked in Minnesota. It was extremely pleasant, but neither of us knew it was our very last exchange.

I sure hope it’s not my last exchange with Jim McHugh, Cara Carriveau, Eddie Brill and Rick Gieser, but should that be the case we went out on a high note. I really had fun hanging out with all of them, and whatever it cost me in gas money or time was well worth it with what I received in return. The laughter and camaraderie are what make life worth living, and I cherish it dearly.

I have a strong tendency to be a loner by nature, but yesterday really made an impression. I love to hang out with good people, and there are way too many I haven’t seen in way too long. I don’t want my time on Earth to be up and have regrets of not spending enough time with those I enjoy.

On one hand, I see millions of idiots polluting the planet with their selfish way they waste their lives and that of those around them, and wish for a giant flamethrower to torch them all. But then I see scattered among that sea of soup heads really sweet people who are out there slugging it out and trying to rise above the insanity despite being in an unfortunate majority. They’re wonderful.

I strive daily to be one of those wonderful people, even though I constantly fail and it frustrates me beyond words. There are some days when I’d volunteer to be the first one in front of the giant flamethrower, and it feels like I’m just eating the food and drinking the water of someone useful.

This life is a constant struggle, and we need as many rock solid people around us as we can get to share the experience and make it easier for everyone. I guess that’s what families are supposed to be for, but mine was never like that. Home was the last place I would go when times got hard.

That’s why I’ve been such a loner for so long, and haven’t opened myself up more to having an intimate relationship with anyone – especially women. Those are the biggest dents in my can and they are still there to a certain degree even though I’m getting much better. Days of being around so many stellar people like yesterday really have an especially positive impact on people like me.

I wish I had pleasant memories with my family at Christmases and summer vacations and all of the places that are supposed to be so uplifting but I just can’t relate. That part of my life has been amputated a long time ago, and there’s nothing I can do but keep slugging with what I do have.

I do have wonderful friends – and a lot of them. I don’t see most of them as much as I’d like to, and I deeply regret that. I don’t take days like yesterday for granted, and I can use more of them.


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