As I write this (on a sheet of paper, later to be transcribed unto the website) I’m at my parent’s place in Tampa. My grandparents, who I haven’t seen in almost five years, are visiting from Puerto Rico. (Just for the record, these are my dad’s parents; my grandmother on my mom’s side died in 2001, just before 9/11, and I’ve never met my mom’s dad, although I think he’s also deceased.) I’m in my brother Artie’s room, laying on the bed, vacillating between a History Channel feature on the Crusades and Sabado Gigante, which features the never-aging Don Francisco and his plethora of extra-shapely Latina dancers shaking their “goods” for the audience. (Speaking of which, whatever happened to Xuxa?)
The Wife’s at her parent’s place tonight, so I guess one could say that I’m here alone. We thought it would be a good idea for her to spend some time alone with her parents this weekend and me some time alone with my grandparents, since I hadn’t seen them in four years and she hasn’t seen her parents in almost 2 months. I guess then that for tonight, at least, I’m a bachelor again.
As I sit here, I’m looking down at the pile of PS2 video games in Artie’s room, wondering whether I should further my descent into adolescence by playing one of them. Then again we’re talking about Need for Speed Underground, Madden 2k5, and SOCOM II, so it’s not like I’m geeking out to Final Fantasy 7 (in which case I’d be here for the next three weeks).
By the way, Bell, my niece, is here again this weekend. “Gee, sis, must be nice to pawn off your kid for the weekend to loving grand- and great-grandparents…”
Anyway, so looking at all this I feel like I’m 16 again. Add to this all the contact I’ve had with old high school friends, especially the frighteningly quick-witted Nym, and it all starts to look familiar. Too familiar: Home alone on a Saturday night, watching the History Channel and playing video games… wow, pathetic.
Ok, this is sad. It’s 10:50 and the house is dead quiet. It’s not usual this way, but my grandfather hoes to sleep at 9pm. I guess that’s dictating the rest of the household’s behavior. Actually, it feels like when I spent the night over at my grandparent’s place in Puerto Rico when I was younger.
What’s worse, I’m tired, though that may have something to do with the fact that I (1) got up at 3am today, (2) have spent 8 hours on the road, driving, and (3) just had a delicious Starbucks ice cream milk shake, where the milk was replaced with a cup of Kaluha (straight from Mexico) and 1/2 a cup of Baccardi 8 rum. Obviously I’m not too tired, else I wouldn’t be writing this.
Anyway, this feeling’s an interesting one. For the past few days — after reading You’ve Got to Find What You Love — I’ve been thinking a lot about my past failures. [In retrospect, I think it was the alcohol talking.] Why did I settle for good when I could have really dedicated myself and become great? Why didn’t I ever truly sink myself into something I did? After all, wasnâ€™t I the one used to say, “do what you love, the money will follow”?
I’ve also been thinking about past chances never taken, especially after some recent revelations. (The “what if I had” questions anyone with a sane mind won’t dare ask outoud.) What if… what if… what if…
Still, feeling like I’m feeling now, being where I am, it’s almost as if I can reclaim that past. It’s almost as if… I just… think about it… hard enough… maybe I can go back. Even if it is for just a little while.