by Peter Marus

Thursday I woke up to the noise of groundskeepers working on a house’s lawn and shrubs. They started a exactly 9am, which is impressive since the trucks pulled into the house’s driveway about ten minutes earlier. I get up to find my cousin already up, apparently very sick. After talking to him for a bit and figuring out that it maybe the macaroni salad he had the night before that may have been bad, I took his car to the store to get some things he needed. The rest of the day he stayed in bed to recover, and I stayed around since I am the only one he trust driving his car in case he needed me to. In the afternoon I went out with the other people in the house to go shopping in the town.

Friday was out last day in the house. We went for a walk around the lake into town to the big car show being held that weekend. When I mean big, I’m talking BIG! It was one of the largest shows I’ve seen in a while. Walking around and seeing the art that Detroit has created, and also was helped by some of the owners, was amazing. 99% were American cars, with a few foreign cars. It’s sad seeing most of these old cars that the modern car industry can’t and won’t even try to make cars like these again. I looked at these cars and thought of three things. . First, art, in the sheer beauty of the car. The second word, power, in the sound and speed of the cars-all night you heard them going around the town. Finally fun, in the sense that all the owners of the cars seemed to have legitimate fun hanging out with other car owners. It was a cool thing to see.

Later that night we went to the steakhouse just up the road from the house. To say it was a mediocre meal I had would be giving it too much credit. I ordered a dish that had half a chicken, baby back ribs, corn on the cob, and cornbread. The sauce used on the chicken and ribs had way too much orange, which killed any taste of the ribs and chicken. Both the chicken and ribs had little meat on them, and the cornbread sure as hell didn’t taste like cornbread. Even the beer I had didn’t taste right. After dinner, went home had a cigar to celebrate my cousin’s future child, drank and packed up to leave Saturday.

Saturday was simply clean up and leave. We left just in time before the weather turned really bad. So now some thoughts I had about the whole vacation

First, this house reminded me of my parent’s old house in PA-from the wood used in the house, the vibe by the area, and just the experience walking around. One thing that I had in my mind from time to time is I remember living in an area like this is that as nice as the air, the weather, and all that stuff was, I remember how much I felt isolated from the world. Some may say it is a good thing, but it was something that almost drove me crazy. I couldn’t go and socialize, because the nearest anything was at least 5 miles down a winding mountain road. And drinking and driving along steep mountainsides don’t mix. So I just went to work, and came home. It wasn’t a healthy way of living, and something I could never do again. Sitting outside at night was peaceful, but it reminds me that it’s one of those “good for a little bit, but not for life” things.

One other thing that has been rattling around in my head when things calm down is that I am 30 now. I am old. After the scooter incident and all the pain I’ve been in, it made me realize that I am nowhere near the person I was even 5 years ago. Even hanging out with my friends, I find myself exhausted and just want sleep. My body feels like hell, and it’s a real shock.

Also along with the whole 30 thing, all the stuff I was writing about leading up to the trip has been on my mind. Last year around this time, I also was feeling damn good, full of confidence that I was on the right path. Fast-forward a year and no chick, no job, and so far no real direction right now. This trip has been fun and all, and a lot of what has been bothering me has not so much. When I get home and re-settled, the direction I should be going should come.

One other thing that I noticed is that when I say I have a low tolerance of bullshit, I really mean it. Being the only single guy in the house all week let me look at how everyone else reacted to each other and whatever “drama” came up. All of the dramas that came up were minor, or something that was a flashpoint to start up an older fight some of the couples seemed to have for a while now. At first I did show concern, but shortly into the trip, like the first night there, my attitude was “this is my vacation, everyone can kill each other for all I care, it’s not my problem. Anyone tries to drag me into the problem will have a whole other set of problems dealing with me.” These dramas, especially when there were a whole lot of people, would bring any activity to a grinding halt. Just going out for a walk took almost an hour to get going, because one person was upset over something, or the whole group had to wait for someone due to they HAD to do something, yet didn’t and pissed around for 20 minutes. One day I was almost ready to just leave and ignore everyone for the day and go my own way, I thought al this minor pissing and moaning was ridiculous. Maybe this is why I am single-I can’t and refuse to take part in this garbage with others.

Overall, this has been a great trip and great people to hang out with, and quite honestly get to know better. I am glad I didn’t cancel this trip, like I almost did several times. I felt at some points that I would be in the way since I was the “Odd man out”, but I haven’t really felt that the entire trip. Even if I did, I would have simply just shut everyone else out and just do my thing, regardless of what anyone else said.

Now I am at home, so it’s time to get down and dirty and look for work. Not I’ll do it in a more relaxed mindset