Sunday, March 30, 2003

Happy to be here

Since I exhude such outward calm and inner peace I am often asked by those around me, to not only bless their unions and children, but describe to them my most powerful moments of enlightenment.

Ok, here goes.

1) When I was stationed at a little shitty base inside of Camp Pendleton called Campt Margarita my friend, Cale and I would hop in his car every Sunday afternoon to get our weekly marine haircut in the town of San Clemente. Like many California coastal town San Clemente had a pier that jutted a few hundred feet into the ocean. We would time our haircuts so that we could get out to the pier in time to watch the sunset. The light setting the sun setting into the ocean bathes the world light of the warmest red and gold. The light reminded of the colors used by Tolkien when describing Lothlorien. The fifteen minutes of golden light that would die out give way to a cold purple have been with me ever since then.

That was a series of moments that have now condensed into one single memory. I do have one particular instance where I felt this also.

2) When I got out of the Marines in July of 1990 I joined my mother and step father who had moved from Michigan to Charlotte while I was in the service. I remember being very content when I first arrived in town because I was so relieved to no longer be in the Marine Corps. The last six months of my time with them were the longest six months of my life. Naturally I was living with my folks and just enjoying being me again. I used to spend a lot of time at the 13-13 club which was located in the Park Elevator building on South Blvd near where South Blvd goes under I-277. I loved that place while it was open. They brought in a lot of great acts and it was a glorious little dump. The perfect rock-club-inside-an-old-wharehouse. I was driving my step-father's car down South Blvd one weekend night on my way to the club. I don't remember what band was playing that night. What I do remember is being in that car on a fall night with the window rolled down and listening to the local rock station and just feeling a sense of adventure and rebirth as I was heading out all alone to a cool rock club. Something clicked right there and I don't know if I've ever felt more alive while alone and clothed. South Blvd after that night has always been my favorite street in Charlotte. It's unpretentious, it's industrial and you can sometimes see a prostitute. This is the street where you can feel the heartbeat of Charlotte. What you see here is what is really going on in the city. It ain't Cannery Row but it's blue collar.

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