Hey, lesh drive to the beach and watch the shunrise!
If you lived in the Piedmont area of the Carolinas during your twenties and you never got drunk and drove to Myrtle Beach to watch the sunrise then you have wasted your time here.
I am sitting in some bar in Pineville in the mid-90's with my friend Chris B, a friend of his (we will call him bignose) who later went to law school, his girlfriend and her friend who was in love with Chris. They were all there before I arrived. I must have gotten off of work. I don't recall. Maybe I closed Officemax. I had a drink or two (I must assert that I did not get drunk this night) and we were talking. I had just met the two girls and Bignose that night and I was enjoying their company. We were sitting in one of those theme restaurant bars which was a new experience for me. When I went out at this time in my life I was either going to a place in Pineville called TJ's, a dive on Monroe Rd called Smokey Joe's or to the 13-13 and the Double Door to see bands. Thankfully I had gotten the "clubbing" phase of my life over by this time.
Out of the blue Bignose suggests we drive to the beach. Unanimously we all agree. We polish off whatever drink we have, pile into one of the girlss cars, stop by a convenience store so Chris can grab a twelve pack of cheap-ass beer and hit the road. I don't remember much of the trip down to the beach. It was dark and we did a lot of talking. I remember two incidences clearly. One time Chris had bignose pull over so we could piss. Chris took a long time to finish and bignose drove off a short ways forcing Chris to run after us as we giggled and he swore. At one point we were describing some of our favorite scenes from movies and I tried to recount a scene from a bad comedy and it went over like a lead balloon. I believe one of the girls actually said to the silence in the car, "uhhhh...yeah, whatever." I liked the other three less as we spent more and more time crammed in this car.
We got to the beach an hour or so before the sun rose. We parked next to a hotel right on the beach and waited. I walked around a bit but there wasn't much to see this close to dawn. There were no revelers out and the non-reveling people hadn't started waking up yet. Eventually the sun rose If you have never seen the sun rise out of the ocean you are missing a very spiritual experience. First the world imperceptibly goes from dark to a grayish light and you can start to see the features of those around you. Then the sky goes to purple and then pink and the sun rises from the ocean and the day arrives. What was a very silent and spiritual fifteen minutes is now harsh daylight and five exhausted people are facing a four hour drive back to the big city.
The other four were lucky to have me along. I believe the car belonged to the young lady who had the crush on my friend Chris (let's call her Curly since her hair was). She was driving as we headed out. Bignose, who drove down, was asleep in the backseat with his girlfriend and Chris. I don't recall who was asleep and who passed out but all three were out. Curly drove for about two hours and claimed she was about to pass out. I, who cannot sleep in a car at all, took over and drove the rest of the way. I have to give Curly credit, she was too exhausted to drive but she did stay awake while the others slept so I wouldn't have to do it alone. She either stayed awake for support or maybe to ensure that this guy she just met a few hours earlier in a bar didn't crash her car.
We made it to Charlotte and my brain was fried. I swear I could hear it humming with exhaustion. I don't remember driving home or going to sleep. All I know is we did it and nobody got hurt.