Another weekend. Another trip to Eureka. The coffee shop in Springfield, the halfway decent one, closed earlier than it’s normal, limited time, leaving me with an itching writing journal and no where else to go. That was it. Decided, on a spontaneous moment, to head to Eureka. Yeah…that would show Springfield. That would make her jealous. Maybe next time she’d keep her coffee shops open a little later…beg me to stay.

Drive. Top down. No radio. So off-key singing, on the road for me. Eureka. Motley crew of friendly faces. Rich, drunk, singing Nick and I any song we requested off him and his guitar and I had to smile, knowing that, at that moment, Springfield was sagging a little more than usual, thinking, “Damn…what do I have to offer to match that?” Not a thing honey…sorry…

Top-down run to the OP (I remember those). Nick and I trading degrading put downs. Karisa talking at the speed of sound. Trip back. Alex and Johny Law and the rest. Alcohol. Laughs. Hidden tensions (but I’ve been away…I’m not intimately familiar with some of these hidden tensions). More laughs on top of it all.

Then Rich takes me aside and tells me how he’s liked my little musings on this blog and how much we seniors (Dee, Amy, Katherine, and I) meant to him and his class his freshman year. And I have to say THANK YOU Rich. Those reminders are nice. You might be surprised (wait…no you won’t…you work in the creative arts) how you can, one day, feel like an acting/writing/painting/music-playing god, and the next day, be banging your head on the wall, knowing that you’ve been getting away with something for too long and the tax man is going to break your door down, at any second, and say, “There you are, fraud. You’ve avoided me long enough. Time to get a regular job like everyone else.” The reminders help. I don’t think you ever become independent of the reminders.

In that vein, I’d like to make a reminder. It’s easy enough to feel something towards a person(s) and just assume that they know that you know that they know that you know. It’s another thing to say it once in a while (like Rich did). So in that regard, I’d like to make a statement of the importance of my amigos from Eureka, whether they’ve flown the nest, are testing their wings, or just now bulking up on worms…and I’ve really worn that metaphor out, like a scratched record (oh…now I’m mixing metaphors – HA!).

Anyway, I just wanted to say how important the friends I made in Eureka – whether from my class (hey Dee) or from after that (hey Rich, hey Kris, hey Kurt) or even after my graduation (hey Karisa, hey Alex, hey Amanda) – mean to me (there are many more, too many to put here just now…but I think I covered everyone who might read this).

All you guys are fun and worthwhile folk with…well…call it depth, call it spirit, call it a candy coated filling. I’ve been away, I’ve seen other people. And there are many, MANY, out there who have no filling, no depth. They are tasteless, flat, and hollow (whether mentally, emotionally, or otherwise). Some of them are this way passively…others are worse and are this way aggressively, like suction-mouthed lampreys, sucking on everything to fill the void – sucking on beer on self esteem on emotion, anything to distract them from the encroaching approach of the big 3 – 0. And then everyone is hollow and they’ve sucked on everything and everyone is sucking. And that just sucks.

I’m not trying to paint the world in five shades of despair or anything. There are other interesting folk out there. I’ve met a few in Springfield (but most of them have graduated the writing program and I don’t get to see them as much as I like). I just wanted to say that the next time a bad vibe slinks down your spine (and they always do) to remember that the lot of you are talented, worthwhile people with soul and I know, I’ve been elsewhere and seen the other side of things and the contrast just makes it that much more apparent.

And the sun is coming up and that is long past my last call to bed. But, nocturnal as I’ve gotten, I do like a sunrise, because sunrises and sunsets are like fall and spring and fall and spring are like transition.

‘night kids…