Crossroad Meditation

This evening the brakes on my motorcycle squeaked to a halt behind the white stop line at the end of my street. Desert in front of me all the way across to the university. Left, or right. It took me about three minutes to decide. It wasn’t so much as deciding where to go as it was deciding what to do. It gave me an amusing image of where my life stands right now. Here sits Devo, in the saddle of the motorcycle he bought after his first tournament victory in 2006. He hasn’t ridden it in weeks because he’s been out of town. There’s a big piece of him who wants to turn right, head straight for the highway, and ride. Perhaps to Berkley, immediately, to see Dave Matthews and Michael Franti with Seebs this weekend. Perhaps to see Court in North Carolina, then to Borgata, up to Minnesota, and then back to Vegas. Perhaps south to Patagonia via the Pan American trail.

Then there’s a little piece that wants to go straight to Fausto’s, get my carne asada burrito, and come back home – because I haven’t been home in weeks.

I’ve been feeling really unsettled lately. This one is deeper than my usual desires for spontaneous travel. I’ve been in a funk for quite a while and haven’t really known how or what to write about. I’ve been much more quiet and contemplative lately, for almost a month now.

The 10 year anniversary of my father’s death was August 10th. I did a really good job of hiding it from conversation and thoughts – but I think they’re poisoning my moods lately. Between that and looking back over the summer, wondering where it went and what I did with it, I’m pretty displeased in myself.

I’ve been wandering nomadic ever since my father passed. From group to group to group of friends to college, to Colorado, to Minnesota, to Vegas, and to all the random places I’ve since I’ve been here. Behind me a wake of failed relationships; with a wife, a church, and many others.

For the record, this isn’t a depressing list of regrets or even a depressing blog. I’ve just been thinking a ton lately. I can’t blame myself – I’ve honestly tried to do the best and be the best man that I can possibly be in those ten years. I’m very proud of the story that I’ve put together, of the life that I am leading, of the opportunities that I have had in the past and will have in the future.

But, I feel older. I went to Laughlin with all the boys two and a half weeks ago. 6 of us went down, went out first night, all of us lost all of our money ($2500 here, $2k in another spot, and another $2k between the rest of em). We had like $300 for six of us day two. It didn’t keep them from drinking until 8am, but I only made it to 2:30am. I wasn’t ever really in the swing of the party.

The next day though, I woke up chipper and entertained laughing at the five of them hating live in the room next door to mine (they lost the room keys to my room). So happy they didn’t pour into my room at 8am. Since we were on limited funds, Buck and I went to the bowling alley, played 6 games, and drank 24 dollar beers. He knows how to throw curve balls while leaving your thumb in, and I decided I wanted to learn how to do that too, so I went to the pro shop and bought a ball, bag, and shoes for like $170, and aparrently I got a really good deal. I told the guy in the shop, “Man, y’all suck at negotiating. I would have paid like $500 for this stuff right now.” He laughed.

From there we went to dinner and met the rest of the guys. We sat at the bar at the Mexican restaurant, ate chips and salsa, and drank more beer while watching the Olympics. Did that for hours, then went to the gift shop to buy canned beer. We put it on ice in a trash can in my room, which is spick and span since one soberish dude with no luggage slept in it the night before. We play $5 sit-n-goes, more booze/olympics, and Buck passes out on the only made bed between the four that we had been comped 24 hours ago. About 90 minutes later, Buck goes to the restroom and doesn’t come out. Turns out he passed out on the bathroom counter. Out. Sleeping. On. Counter. Highlarious. I take some pictures, and go on a beer run.

I get a phone call that says, “DEVO! DEVO! BUY A SHARPIE!”

“Why?”

“Cause Buck passed out with his d&$# poking out of his boardies and we’re gonna color the tip black.”

Man I wish they had a sharpie. To hear him scream in the morning when he got up for his morning piss.

I had a great time on the trip, but I just couldn’t hang like I’ve used to be able to and I didn’t have as much fun as I used to. Same scenario this weekend for the annual Labor Day river trip. First time I’ve ever considered coming home from one of these things early. I ended up getting to the river on Saturday after spending the week in San Diego with the boys after sucking it up at the WPT Legends Main. When I got there, I was informed that, “Yo, Devo, so, I guess when the guys took the boat out last week that they bent that front part on the pontoon really badly, so much that when we drove it was spraying water into the boat. So Gil and I straightened it out, carefully, hoping that we wouldn’t put any holes in the aluminum. Well, we did, but it’s on top.”

“Please tell me you fixed it with duct tape.”

“No, that’s the next step. I covered it up good with liquid nails.”

“So, Jared, you’re telling me that you fixed the hole in the Piece of Ship with your caulk?”

Turns out that afternoon when we try and take the Private Yacht out on the river, they didn’t see the hole on the bottom of the fold. Jared explained to me that he checked for bubbles on the bottom and everything and it looked good. I didn’t realize at the time that a hole on the bottom of the pontoon while in water wouldn’t have bubbles coming out of it, cause all the air inside would rise to the top of the pontoon, and it’s the Piece of Ship, meaning that there’s holes on the top of the pontoon as well, including one with Jared’s caulk in it, and all the air would leak out as the water came in.

We sank one pontoon.

First time in the history of the ownership of the Piece of Ship that it’s ever failed to be able to be used on a trip. Sad on so many levels.

That night we went to the Avi, and I got handicapped. I wandered to the restroom, saw an abandoned wheelchair, went to the bar to scope it out and make sure that it was truly unused, and sat down in it. I ended up spending the rest of the night in that wheelchair, deciding to give it my best shot at really trying to not use my legs. Here’s what I learned.

1) I failed at the handicapped stall. I am not sure as to whether it was my intoxication level, extremely weak upper body, or lack of knowledge of style, but I couldn’t do it.

2) People are really nice to you when you look like a slapdick and are with a bunch of slapdicks but they think you’re handicapped.

3) Bartenders serve you beer really quickly.

3a) And nicely

4) People don’t know how to talk to you often.

5) Those people really appreciate it when you make fun of yourself and your condition in a way that lets them know its no big deal.

6) I’m really good at wheelchair wheelies. I bet $100 on the don’t while doing a wheelie at the craps table (for the historians, I won a bet during the 2007 series that I could do a wheelie across the Pavilion in a wheelchair).

All good times, really fun stories, but throughout it all I felt a bit distant. I kinda feel like I’m at a point where the whole bachelor pad thing is really driving me nuts, but I’m not ready to settle down. A big part of me wants to go on an adventure, something really insano silly – I’ve considered a ton of options – but then the bigger part of me knows that “happiness is only real when shared.” It’s tough to find traveling partners these days.

So, yeah… WCOOP’s starting up soon, going out for Borgata… I really am gonna put in the hours this Fall, make a late stage comeback and win the POY :).

Peace and good luck,

Devo

2 Responses to “Crossroad Meditation”

  1. Devo- What I like about your writing is that it comes out a lot in my favorite Genre of movie/tv/writing. I would say it fits into the “angst” category. For me “angst” is movies like “Singles” Tv shows like “my so called life” or even the new hit “Quarterlife.” I define it mostly as realistic honestly about struggles trying to figure it all out. You don’t pull punches. You are honest about what you are going through and you recognize that the journey is often more important than the ending location.

    With that said I wonder how far it is from Vegas to Dallas on your motorcycle. You could always ride here for fun.

  2. I agree with Rod….your writing is like Anthony Bourdain’s to me, real honest and entertaining.
    Interesting to hear you speak of silence….God has called me to a “quiet spirit” lately…I’m still figuring out exactly how to implement that since I can be an annoying ass sometimes.

    Remember to be thankful for the “crossroads” in life. Most people would kill for the freedom you have. They feel imprisoned by their job/family/life. perspective is everything i guess

    the solemn times you are experiencing are Normal considering how introspective you are. It makes you wise yet darkens your soul because you see things clearly. Unlike the sheep out there following anything that fits their mood.

    another great post D…write a friggin’ book already! you know you have enough material :)

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