The good news is, I got my first “real” job today.
The bad news is when I went out to celebrate it, I was reminded of what a downward path the young adults of this area are on.
I rose above this and, at an over-populated bar (over populated here in Southeastern North Carolina? I can’t imagine such a thing!), managed to have that alone time I’d originally sought. It was then that I was able to collect myself and kind of cherish the potentially last time I would ever be at this particular bar.
I got to thinking about the way I’ve gone about things in my life. Chronically, I’ve approached them all as if there were an instruction manual on how to get them done. High school football was the first time I noticed this. We had such a great squad – one that the older folk of the community had anticipated winning the state championship since we were mere children – yet we started out 0-1 and ultimately lost in the first round of the playoffs. We never gelled until the end of the season. I remember reflecting on what I thought had happened and citing the notion of our group of seniors being accustomed to finding leadership elsewhere as the primary cause. We were the leaders, I recall telling myself, and if we didn’t start acting like it, our season was going to go to pot.
It was as if I expected there to be a set way to do things – a constant which never varied from season to season – but we never quite found it.
College was the same thing. Entering this endeavor, I thought it was an unchanging process that never varied from person to person. I was so wrong. I did great in all my classes, but was utterly lost when it came to doing what it took to get there. To this day, I remain the worst person in the world when it comes to setting up class schedules, taking the correct credits in the correct fields, and so forth. It would appear high school had caused me to take these luxuries for granted, but that was not the case. Kids who were a lot dumber than me got along just fine, so what do I dub as my excuse? My lack of comprehension regarding the fact that each pupil’s schedule is different. Again, it was as if I thought there was some sort of textbook I was supposed to follow. Upon graduation, I realized finding my first job was equally stifling. “Didn’t potential employers just come to you?” I seemed to believe. What a hardship it was finding my first “foot in the door” for this reason. All the skill, talent, and ambition in the world couldn’t find me work … I had to look for it myself. Duh, I now say.
One would tend to believe I’ve learned from these lessons of the past, but I haven’t. I remain perplexed by certain situations, the latest being fatherhood. Isn’t there a book somewhere on this? I ask this only hypothetically, as I know there are many (thousand) out there, but each only applies to individual circumstances. Yes, there are rudimentary do’s and don’ts for the sake of a child’s physiological well-being, but that’s about it. There’s no set, accepted way to make the fruit of your loins not turn out like an asshole. You just have to go with the flow, follow your heart, and pray to God for guidance. A lot of it comes down to faith in him …if you don’t have it, you’ll chew your nails down to the cuticles (ouch).
And that’s one of the issues that crossed my mind as I drank beer tonight at a bar in Wrightsville Beach. How will I feel if my daughter turns out to be one of the trashy whores who inhabit that place as well as so many throughout the area … if she slutted herself out, flashed a fake driver’s license to the bouncer, and strolled cockily into the place looking to do nothing more than order shitty mixed drinks and have guys hit on her? How do I prevent her from becoming one of them? How do I stop her from being a “Carolina Girl?” Can’t she just be a girl from North Carolina? I’ve had many entanglements with these “Carolina Girls,” and let me tell you – I haven’t liked them one bit. They all smell weird, as pretty as they are, and annoy the shit out of me with their twangy dialect and gaudy jewelry. God, I believe, issues them their heads with nothing more than air inside. Every time I go to the beach bars and scoot for home after having absolutely enough of their live-by-looks style of life, I see them crossing the main road in Wrightsville and believe, honestly, that if I crushed all of them with the nearly-unearthly force of the Lumina, God wouldn’t have much as batted an eye. What’s he missing out on by being rid of a few hundred “Carolina Girls?” Um, let’s see … his name being forsaken through both actions and words on a more-than-daily basis. Think he’d care? Not me.
These thoughts were countered by the friend who I was with – she claimed that the whole point and appealing-to-her part of the beach bars was that “people there just didn’t give a shit.” She cited the way people dressed laid-back as an example of this. I – wearing seven-dollar camouflage shorts and a second hand t-shirt I bought at a Salvation Army in Boone – had nothing to say to her. For one, I don’t think anyone should have to dress up to go out to a bar to begin with, since the purpose of a bar – at least, according to Western New York Standards – is to go out and drink beer, not solely to find a fucking mate for the night like it apparently is here. You want to find a mate? Chances are, any one you pick up at a bar has been with 8,467 people already and your relationship with that person isn’t going to amount to shit. Go somewhere meaningful to pick up a significant other for God’s sake! Duh, Carolinians, duh. No wonder your divorce rate is through the roof here. Anyway, my point is this: she thinks it’s a good thing that people stop caring about the world (a.k.a. don’t give a shit). I thoroughly believe this ideology is why the rest of our human brethren gets so pissed at us … its when you stop giving a fuck that you start becoming the stereotypical blind American that all the world’s grown to hate. I guess I’m more so a member of the rest of the world than I am America, because I hate these people as well. Christ, the majority of them aren’t even aware of the upcoming mayoral election this city’s got, even though it’s a rather crucial one at the crossroads of Wilmington’s future. I don’t even like this place, yet can’t help but be enthralled by certain local issues like an election. What a loser I must be for giving a shit!
And that’s all I’ve got to say … about the war in Vietnam.