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27 May 2018, 16:07

I’m finally up. Yes. It’s 4 pm.

I’ve had a Big Mac to soak up the residual wickedness currently oozing out of every pore. And I am vertical once more.

Yesterday was the best day ever.

When I went through shit Friday, I had been gutted once again by Doug. But it was the last time that will ever happen. I went through the day with the pain and betrayal wreaking a bit of havoc on my psyche, even though Friday was the burying of his corpse for me. I drank with friends and I cried with friends. I wasn’t sure how long it was going to take me to see joy again. Or to even get back to the level I was before I found out I was with a truly bad man.

So me and Captain Morgan had some discussion. It turns out, he’s not a very good friend, because he caused me to cry, vomit on my open toed shoes and pass out.

Saturday was the party/band event I was suppose to shoot and my friend Eric’s birthday bash he invited me to, so I wasn’t without a life to live. I woke with a splitting headache and lay there wondering if my life was just going to be about me going through the motions for a while. I decided to, at least, get some breakfast. And something happened. I got outside. I got into my new car. I drove. And I realized the world looked very much different to me, now. It didn’t look surreal and hateful to me anymore. I didn’t feel apart from it, like I had been. It looked very much bigger. I felt a new sense of… belonging? to the things around me. I started to almost cry because I realized this and I felt happy. The bravery that I had before Friday, the courage that I had thought I lost that afternoon, seemed to come back. It was a strange feeling. Until the day I die, I will never be able to explain what I felt or how it came on.

I got ready for the shoot and I started to get excited. I loved music of the band that I was going to shoot, and I loved the opportunity to be with happy people, be welcomed, be fed, be paid and just be happy for a little while. And I was a little shell shocked from all that has happened to me, but I was determined I wasn’t going to be unhappy this afternoon.

I got to the house where the party and show were being held. It was a giant spread right on the lake. Doug’s parents have a house on Lake Wateree, but their house could just be plopped down in this dude’s side yard. His house was large, he had what looked like mini stables in front, there were two docks, one with this large stage/gazebo where the band was setting up. Their spot on the lake showcased a beautiful view, and I saw tons of people on the lake, swimming and boating. People were pulling up in their boats to listen the the show. They had provided a mountain of food and beer. And everyone I met hugged me right off the bat.

It was a gorgeous day, and I got to sit around and talk with all these people. Turns out, it was the bassist’s house and his wife was having this party. He hired the band and me for the celebration. I found out, almost every member of the band lives on the lake.

A little backstory on my experience with musicians. The ones I have met through Doug have almost all been some skeevy people. The whole continuing debacle of his music career had soured me on that whole world. He couldn’t ever get a band together (but I’m starting to figure out what the problem was and that was Doug, himself) and the people he did get together were at the level of Doug in talent and humanity, so it was a horror show. The bands were crap, the music wasn’t the greatest, and his constant drama didn’t make any of this a good experience for me. He was alway butt hurt that his talents and skills were never recognized and he couldn’t get anything good going. I think the only thing he got going was this last band, and despite his brags of how professional and great they were, they played little bars and holes. I didn’t ever see the “next level” they were getting to ever materialize.

So all this, made me suspicious of musicians. Until this band came along. This band made it all fun for me. This band brought excitement and joy to listening to live music again. It’s like a night and day difference for me. These guys are decent and fun, and people I am proud to call my friends. Doug always accused me of hating music. I didn’t hate music. I hated what he did to my love of music. I hated what he did to my joy when I got to go out to listen to music. I hated what he did to my love for life.

These guys play really well, and they put on a SHOW. I love the music they play, and I love that they put the joy back into all this for me. I’ve seen and taken pictures for them in a couple of events – one where I got to meet a members of some other bands. All the people I’ve met that are associated with these guys seem to be decent and great people. I’ve met friends, band members, girlfriends, wives, family, neighbors, and they all were wonderful people. I spent the afternoon and early evening with all these people, listening to great music and eating yummy food. It was all at the lake on the most beautiful spot I’ve seen. I got to be a little part of the band and I enjoyed “belonging.” They love my work and appreciated me in ways I never got in the last seven years. I felt MORE love from these people who only knew me for a brief time than I did from the last seven years being with Doug and his family. I felt welcomed.

After we all packed up, I head back towards home, and was exhausted and a little bit stinky. But I thought, I’ll just drop by Eric’s party and have a beer or two with everybody. I pulled up and immediately everybody smiled and welcomed me. “SO GLAD YOU CAME.” I smiled and decided to stay a bit. There was another shitload of food and another band. It was a PARRRR-TAY. So I put up quarters to play pool. Eric drunkenly thanked me over and over for coming, and more and more people were coming in. And I had fun. A LOT of fun. I noticed something. I had lots of men come talk to me – play pool with me – some were even staring at me. Some of that was flattering, some of that was creepy, some of that was odd. One dude who may have been a little bit more drunk than he realized shouted at me and got down on his knees in front of me, howling at me something like “OMG I would like you to whip my ass.” I think it was that. He was a bit GONE. And I wasn’t exactly sober either. It was a loud crowded party, but it started to wind down and I ate and relaxed. I headed out the door, when I met some people I knew out in the parking lot. We all got to talking and they wanted me to hang out with them. They said they were headed to the park, one dude had an acoustic guitar and they had beer, so I thought, well. Why not.

There’s a little lake or river or something up by town here, and I THINK its a public park. I’m not sure if it wasn’t some privately owned deal. But we kinda sneaked in and found a spot down by the water. We talked and sang songs and I ate a pot brownie. Yes. I did. If you know me, you know I am not a drug taker. I nurse my alcoholism but I’m hesitant even to take medication if I don’t, absolutely, have to, so eating a pot brownie is WAAYY out of character for me. But it all was a mellow, rednecky kind of time and I enjoyed it.

I’m am starting to feel a part of the world. I alway had the us-against-the-world attitude this last seven years because that’s they way we operated. I’m starting to realize that I was a very broken person seven years ago, and I picked a broken person to be with. When I became unbroken, I couldn’t be with a broken person anymore. It didn’t work. The only regret I have is not being aware enough, or maybe brave enough to change the situation. But. All these experiences are crowding in, making all the old ones fall off the ledger. I can’t even remember when me and Doug had as good of a time as I had yesterday. Even his new betrayal he showed me on Friday, has lost the sting, and I didn’t think that would happen for a LONG time. It happened in a day. This new world I’m entering has too much to give me and I can’t keep any of that old stuff – it isn’t worth the time or space.

This weekend, I have MANY pictures to process, I have a house to clean, I have dogs to love and I have a good time to recover from. I’m going to be all right. And a whole lot sooner than I thought possible.