Family, Man

So there I sat, looking off toward the brilliantly illuminated waters of the Atlantic. The night breeze was blowing off the ocean and the surf was crashing periodically. Maybe I’m weird, but that’s my favorite part about being at the beach. It’s so calm and relaxing – the breeze in my hair and the sound of the waves enveloping me. I love it. On this night, however, it was particularly beautiful. The moon was looming large in the sky, and its light was reflecting off the water perfectly – like a scene in a movie. That was when I came to the revelation: I don’t want to go back to Atlanta. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself….

Two weeks ago I went on vacation, with most of my immediate family, to Myrtle Beach. It was me, Lee Jay (my brother), Lee Jay’s wife (Vickie), my Mom, my nephews (James and Austin), and Austin’s friend Davis. We had a blast. It was great beyond words. I can’t remember the last time I had been to the beach prior to this vacation, so to say that I enjoyed it is an understatement at best. A great time was had by all, but it wasn’t all perfection.

It was biker’s week at Myrtle Beach, so there were motorcycles, and their leather clad riders, EVERYWHERE. All hours of the day and night you could hear the rumbling of motorcycles. Honestly, if I never see nor hear another motorcycle for the rest of my life I will be okay with that. Oh, oh SO okay that I can’t tell you just how okay it would be. You could barely cross the street, let alone drive anywhere, because the streets were clogged with these people on their bikes. I’m serious. On a lighter note, though, one of the bikers jeered at Vickie and flicked his tongue in her general direction as if he were Gene Simmons or something. It was funny stuff.

Also, it really wasn’t all that hot there. It stayed in the mid to low 70s the whole time. Some of you might like that, but I would rather it had been warmer. Because of this, the ocean was just too cold to enjoy. We spent most of the time in the hotel’s pool. It was one of the nicer pools I’ve ever been in, but still…it would have been nice to have spent more time getting pummeled by waves.

Regardless of all of that, however, we still had a blast. It only rained once while we were there, so we were treated to a week of sun and blue skies. We played our usual in-the-pool games: wrestling to dunk one another, racing from one side to the other (both above and under water), throwing balls and playing keep away, diving to the bottom to fetch a penny, seeing who could stand on their hands under the water the longest, seeing who could hold their breath under the water the longest, and seeing how many flips someone could turn under water. We did all that, of course, when we weren’t playing with James. He’s too young (he won’t be 5 until June 27th) to be able to do most of that, although he did participate in our above the water races and of course the ball tossing. He is so much fun. Every moment I spend with him builds a moment that I now, when I’m here in Atlanta, regret not being able to spend with him. That needs to change.

Then, at night, we played boards games and the Xbox until 2 or 3 in the morning. We played Monopoly most of the time. I, of course, won the most games due to my superior negotiating and monetary skills. Too bad they do not translate into the real world hahahahaha! On the Xbox, when we all get together, we usually hold a double elimination tournament of some sport game. Usually it’s Madden Football, but this year we did it on NHL 06 (EA Sports – It’s in the Game!). James, who is, just to remind you, just four freaking years old, ended up being in the finals against his Dad. Lee Jay ended up winning the tournament, but still…a four year old beat most of us at least once. Wow. It was a glorious time that I will fondly remember for as long as I can.

It was after one of those days of swimming and nights of Monopoly that I received my revelation. When I’m at the beach, after everyone else goes to bed I always go down to the shore to sit and contemplate the vastness of the ocean and the state of my life. “Ah, man,” I said to myself, “I don’t want to leave.” Not wanting to leave turned into not wanting to go back to Atlanta. Then when I considered that a little further, I realized that I feel like my time in Atlanta is coming to an end. I recognize this feeling because it’s how I felt when I was considering leaving my hometown of Princeton, WV to move to Atlanta. I just feel like I have seen, learned, and experience everything worthwhile that I can here. I feel like Atlanta has nothing more to offer me. It’s not just that, though. I want to be closer to my nephews and my brother. I want to be more of a part of their lives. So… it’s time to make a change. It’s time to move on, and that’s what I’m going to do.

I like Charlotte a lot. It’s like Atlanta, Jr., really. You still get a sense of the city without a lot of the craziness that is prevalent here. Also, I’m a huge Carolina Panthers fan now and I also am starting to really get into the NHL a lot so I’ve been following the Carolina Hurricanes since about the last month of the hockey season. The Hurricanes and Panthers are just another bonus that North Carolina has for me. Despite all of this, however, I said to myself that if I got back home and there wasn’t a notice from my apartment complex that they intend to raise my rent, then I might consider staying.

See, it’s a stipulation in my lease that Post Properties has to inform me 75 days in advance of the end of my lease if they intend to raise my rent. They haven’t raised my rent since I moved here 3 years ago. In fact, they even lowered my rent once when I asked them to (long story). I still love living here, so I figured I might consider staying another 6 months or so if they aren’t going to raise the rent. However, when I got home and checked the mail – indeed there was a notice from Post that they intend to raise my rent for the next lease term. So…all signs are pointing to me needing to make a change. I’m going to do just that.

I’ve spent the past week updating my résumé and using it to apply for jobs over monster.com and computerjobs.com. I’m looking forward to the change and starting over in a new city. I’m also really looking forward to being able to spend more time with James, Lee Jay, and Austin. Lee Jay and I used to play tennis at least once a week, and I really need to get back to doing that. I want to be able to play more with James and experience his childhood on a more consistent basis. This will help me do that. Austin is a crazy teenager and he needs a big brother around to keep him in check. I will strive to do that. Also, he likes going to be movies as much as I do.

Anyway…that’s what is going on with me. It’s the glory of the beach and my surfside revelation. It’s all about family, man.

Until next time,
B

———————————————

I’ve got a theory
That it’s a demon
A dancing demon – nah, something isn’t right there

I’ve got a theory
Some kid is dreaming
And we’re all stuck inside his wacky Broadway nightmare

I’ve got a theory, we should work this out
It’s getting eerie
What’s this cheery singing all about

It could be witches – some evil witches
Which is ridiculous ’cause witches they were
Persecuted wicked good and love the earth and
Women power and I’ll be over here

I’ve got a theory
It could be bunnies

Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes
They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses
And what’s with all the carrots
What do they need such good eyesight for anyway
Bunnies, bunnies
It must be bunnies

Or maybe midgets

I’ve got a theory, we should work this fast
Because it clearly could get serious before it’s passed

I’ve got a theory
It doesn’t matter

What can’t we face if we’re together
What’s in this place that we can’t weather
Apocalypse
We’ve all been there
The same old trips
Why should we care

What can’t we do if we get in it
We’ll work it through within a minute
We have to try
We’ll pay the price
It’s do or die
Hey, I’ve died twice

What can’t we face if we’re together
(What can’t we face)
What’s in this place that we can’t weather
(If we’re together)
There’s nothing we can’t face

Except for bunnies….

“I’ve got a theory / Bunnies / If we’re together”
from
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Season 6, Episode 7 “Once more with Feeling”
Joss Whedon

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