Here I sit in the Frothy Monkey in the 12 South district of Nashville, just down the street from the restaurant where I arguably spent most of my time during the years I lived in this fantastic city. It was in this coffee shop I sat down and decided that if I was going to make it in this world as a writer I was going to have be dedicated to my craft. I couldn’t continue to find excuses on why I couldn’t write today. I had to find the dedication to take the time to pull out my laptop and type, even if it was only a few words. There were definitely days when I would write 100 words and just be over it, but at least I remained dedicated to the one activity I always cared about.
(To all of those out there reading this: One, Sally feel free to read this one. I don’t think there is too much in it that will upset you. Two, my editor took a few liberties in the editing process and I only recently discovered them. I left them for posterity sake though)
Many people have found that one of the negatives of growing up is you tend to grow apart from the friends you made as a child. It makes sense if you think about it; people change, move, get married, have kids, grow up, grow old, grow apart, get sick, and die. It is one of the negatives of aging. As a child the world is an endless array of possibilities. The person you ride bikes with down to the 7-11 to grab Slurpees, even though your parents told you not to go there without them, will one day have his or her own life across the country only to be heard from occasionally on social media. (Only a short 10 years ago or so, even this wasn’t possible, and the only way to know where someone ended up was through rumors and local lore with tales starting with, “Did you hear where Kat went?”). Fortunately for me, even with all of the crusades I ventured on, the many times I decided it was time to pack my bags and head to a different part of this globe, I am lucky enough to have one friend (this is not a retelling of the story of my best friend, so please continue before growing bored and assuming I have run out of wonderful tales to tell) who, through all of the hurdles Life put in our way, has remained one of the lynchpins of my existence.
For years one of my friends has asked me to write a story in which he was one of the main characters, and while he and I have shared many adventures together there was never a story I could tell without it being just a very simple and short, “I have always considered him a close friend, who I care about dearly.” He and I have never been in a fight together at a wedding. Thankfully there was never an incident between the two of us which concluded with jalapeño juice debilitating me for hours afterwards. Never have he and I accidentally gotten married in a bar, while being overly intoxicated. No, his and my friendship has always been what many people would have considered to be a normal one. We would get together and watch Red Sox games, which is actually how we met, then go out after the game was over and play darts until they made last call at the Edgefield in East Nashville. We would part ways, then get together on the next Friday (or Saturday, depending on work schedule) to watch another game, and continue the cycle. The story I have the extreme pleasure of telling is the story of the best conversation I have ever had (Sorry, Carter), and I’ll always be glad that conversation occurred with my good friend, my brother, Nate (His real name. He deserves all the credit in the world for being a fantastic individual). Continue reading Friendship, Family, and a Great Converastion
60 days ago I had my last beer.
I used to be able to drink a beer faster than almost anyone else I knew. Actually, I may still be able to. I could pick up your pint of beer, and before you turned around the pint would be gone, leaving you wanting. Nobody ever got too mad at me for stealing their beer–normally they were impressed by how quickly I had made it disappear and would then inquire about how I had learned the skills to achieve such a feat. The truth is, I had learned how to do that because I didn’t want to be rejected by anyone, and (thanks to the groups I found myself hanging out in) I thought if I could drink faster than they could, they would accept me. This desire left me with a gift of being able to impress people at parties with what one of my friends lovingly referred to as “Matt’s Magic Trick.” Continue reading My Struggle With Addiction, Part II