Yesterday kicked off a this thing called “vacation.” I’m not really familiar with the term, but apparently I”m being paid to take one.
Actually it’s the slow season at the resort which means it’s time for the “Annual Mikel Voyage Home to Relax and Cool Down after an Intense Summer” trip. It’s generally a 2-3 week time period between Halloween and Thanksgiving that encompasses my birthday in which I recharge my hospitality skills and drain my bank account. Debauchery of all kinds ensues, and even a little Taco Bell. Maybe.
Last night was the first truly quiet night at the restaurant. The veil of tension was lifted and every breath was a taste of serenity. The staff and I joked and laughed–actually having time for a complete sentence really helped–and talked about our plans. Me going back to my old stomping ground for some R and R. The sous chef was excited for his trip to Vegas. Everyone had their own thing; their own little reward for a season well-done.
It felt so good I was afraid for a moment that I was in the early scenes of a horror film. You know, that “last day, fellas, whatcha gon’ do with your down time?” setup that usually ends in some sort of apocalypse or alien invasion. Like maybe zombies were going to show up just as we were locking up the joint and we’d be stuck inside the restaurant for the entire slow season. And outside the zombies would clamber and claw at the windows. But instead of wanting to eat our brains, they’d just want a “TABLE FOR TWO!” or “STEVENSON–PARTY OF EIGHT!” And I’d beg “please, please–can you just bite me instead?!”
Are you gleaning from this that it was a pretty long summer for us at the restaurant?
I guess my vacation started a little early, technically. This past weekend, a fair sampling of my best college buds came up to visit me on the Shore. We crammed into a townhome at my resort.
It was exactly like a college party. Except that we had twice as much booze, drank half as much of it, and nobody put out a cigar on their arm in the name of “feeling real pain.”
(I won’t name names…but it was Dustin.)
It’s true that we’ve all done a lot of growing up since those days–even me–but it was nice to know that even after months (and years, in some cases) those guys can still bring me to tears.
It’s nice to feel proud of where I live and it was very cool to be able to show them all around. The shoppes, the views…the jagged rocks where Dustin and I jumped a crevasse to prove we were real men.
And in between talks about having kids and Tastefully Simple parties–two things I still don’t understand, by the way–we still put back the cocktails like champs. Dustin and I still chatted like excited 5th graders about sci-fi stuff and Magic the Gathering. Beth and I still giggled when somebody said the word “hard.” Chrisa still provided me with plenty of material for witty comebacks. Heidi still throws a mean right hook. And Sarah still gets my jokes before I even say them.
And for the first time in a long time I didn’t wake up wishing it was Freshman Year again. Maybe having the collection of memories really is better. It’s like this glue we all have holding us together. It’s what allows us to live minutes or miles or years apart without having to “catch up.” That’s not to say I don’t like hearing what they’ve been up to. But it also means if Dustin just wants to toss me a beer and give me a nod, it’s enough.
The beer is the really crucial part of that equation anyway.
Well I think I’ve done my job with this post. That job being to paint myself as a raging alcoholic living in the past and thinking “fart noises” double as political humor.
And maybe show you how much my friends mean to me. And how much I really needed this weekend.
So now that the manuscript is done and the vacation has begun, I’ll try to keep up with my blog a little more. Keep you posted on my adventures back home.
In the meantime, anybody have any big Halloween plans?