My first two days back in Michigan were fairly tame. Friday night, I headed out to a few bars that I hadn’t been to since Christmas. Julie was blowing my phone up all night. I hadn’t said a proper goodbye to her before moving out of my apartment in Chicago, and she is still under the impression that I’m in the city. The truth of the matter is, I didn’t feel like having some long winded argument with her about why exactly we couldn’t be together. I’m too lazy and I don’t like having confrontational conversations unless I absolutely have to. Julie and I had a really nice three-week run.
As for my ex-girlfriend? I spent my last four nights in Chicago with her. We had a picnic. We watched Season 2 of The OC. We ate salmon. It was really nice. She referred to this as our “most amicable break yet,” and I couldn’t agree more. Since breaking up after college, I’ve tried rekindling that flame two or three times. The on-again-off-again nature of it is confusing. But moving across the country is probably the best thing for me to do. We’re both indecisive. We’re twenty five years old with a lot in front of us. If I had stayed in Chicago, I think I would have ended up dating her again. And it would have been awesome. But the relative unknown that awaits me in Central Texas is what keeps me from becoming sad about what could have been. This past weekend was a time for me to relax and forget about relationships and the stress that has been building up as I get closer and closer to Sunday – when I’ll hop on a plane to Austin and start fresh.
I don’t have a whole lot of friends left in my hometown. Most flew the coop after college and didn’t look back. I had no plans for leaving my parents house last weekend until early Saturday morning when I got an unexpected call. It was an invitation to go to a cottage about an hour and a half away. Here in Michigan, we refer to this as “Up North.” I’ll explain that in a little bit. I grew up ten minutes from Michigan State, meaning that when I go home I can visit bars that I used to terrorize in my very early 20s. But in the summer, as with any college town, the number of people left naturally decreases. Internships, vacation, and expired leases. It’s natural that the bars do not have the same pizazz that they do during the fall when class is in session. My options, on this drizzly Saturday morning, were to either stay at my parents house and take my chances at the college bars later on, or head to a cottage with a boat and jetskis. No brainer. I hopped in my car, went to the grocery store and bought a case of bud light and waited for the “I’m outside, tool” text message.
Scotty’s E350 4matic sparkled in the mid-afternoon sun as we pulled out of my parents driveway. Memorial Day weekend is a time for lake houses, light beer, and grilled meats. We headed north to a cottage overlooking a private lake – a place where affluent couples and privileged offspring spend their summer weekends.
In Michigan, “Up North” is a common phrase uttered to describe any location in the northern part of the state. When someone mentions that they’re headed up north, one can assume with relative certainty that they’re going to a lakehouse, they’re going to get drunk, and they’re more than likely going to be doing it on a boat.
For two glorious days, I smoked cigarettes with reckless abandon. I drank Bud Light like I was headed for the electric chair the next day. I had no filter. Just me and four of my good friends, reminiscing on simpler times. Aside from DJ-ing, I didn’t even really look at my phone last weekend. It was glorious. So while I would love to sit here and tell you that my last weekend in the Midwest was filled with drunken debauchery I can’t because that didn’t happen. I got wasted with my boys overlooking a serene lake. It was exactly what the doctor ordered. I’m sending it all the way to Texas next Sunday afternoon. Let the chase in Austin begin. .