Soooooo….about last year…yeah…I was wrong about a lot things as it turned out. Namely, that there wasn’t a snowball’s chance in the fiery pits of Lucifer‘s domain that America would reelect Barack Hussein Obama to another 4 years of digging our grave for us. I mean, I was really, really, really wrong. Still stinging on that one I’m not gonna lie. A great deal of my life was invested in making sure that did not happen. Jeepers…so where do we and this blog go from there? Well, I have a few ideas always up my sleeve…though apparently I suck at forecasting, I have a long history behind me and I can write a little bit. Time to change directions and go backwards in order to move forward.
At least for a little while, I’m going to move this forum to what I first intended it to be…a place for me to write whatever the hell I feel like writing, which usually covers a wide spectrum of random subjects, mixing humor, deep thought and a pondering mind. In doing that, I will be tapping into old memories and stories in my noggin’ and use them to help sort out exactly how it all wound up where it is now.
The 21st century for me personally started off like a freaking Stephen King novel, but then afterwards settled into the best years of my entire life so far. For the nation however, it started off great with the fact that Y2K was as much hooey as the Mayan Apocalypse of 2012 was, but then was quickly torn asunder on September 11th, 2001. When things started going well for me in 2000, I should have known things were going to get dicey for the United States. It always works that way. Scientifically proven. I was born in the 60’s (1966 to be exact) so we won’t count that in this equation, because who knows if life is going well as an infant/toddler. As long as nobody is beating on you and you’re being fed, life is grand. Plus, I kissed my first girl at age 4. Laurie Newsome from next door, my best friend at the time. We hid in the storage room of my house. That was 1970, and the rest of the 70’s went great for me, but the nation, the nation was a mess. I couldn’t stand the 1980’s though nor the 1990’s. I had great friends, a lot of fun for the most part, but my family was tearing apart at the seams, my mom had completely changed, and I personally was as lost as I could possibly be. Yet, the country was booming for most of both those decades, give or take a few spans. So when I woke up on January 1st, 2000 after the night I had just had, I thought things were going to go great for the country and continue sour for me. I was dead wrong. But let’s look back at that.
It was December 31st, 1999 in Charlotte, NC. The last day of the 20th century so obviously a monumental occasion. My wife and I were a young 33 years old and had a daughter who was 1 1/2 years old. We were set to have a party that night at our house and it was to be huge. All of our favorite friends, our neighbors, and some family…and our 1 1/2 year old. My brother was even going to camp out in a tent in our front yard, which he did. I still don’t get that one, but it was his intent and he followed through with it. It was a circus atmosphere just the way I like it.
Now, being a person that likes symbolism and hidden meanings behind things, on special occasions more times than not I’m very choosy about what my attire is going to be. I want it to be something I will keep a long time and always remember that moment. For instance, this past New Year’s Eve after the election and feeling like an island in life dismayed at the thought enough people are out there that would actually vote for their own demise, I wore a black and gray long sleeve tee that I often wear on stage during performance (drummer), that reads “One man against the world.” That is the kind of thing I’m talking about. This particular New Year’s Eve 1999 I had purchased 2 months in advance the shirt I was going to wear. It didn’t really say anything…I just really liked the shirt and how I looked in it, and I wanted my wife to find me attractive moving into a new century. Nothing worse than kissing someone at the stroke of a century and saying to yourself, “damn, I have to move into the future with that?” So, that was my purpose that year. Not to be ugly. People were filing in, the drinks were starting to pop, food was being served, music was playing…it was going to be a magical night. But there was an issue. Our young daughter wasn’t feeling well. My wife asked me to hold her while she was going to give her some medicine. I scoop my beautiful blonde haired daughter into my arms and sit down in one of our new chairs purchased at Rooms-To-Go that I think we still aren’t paying for…remember those days? “Buy a whole room and no payments until June 2055.” I’ll take those odds that I’m going to have the cash to pay for it by then. We got hooked up. Baby and Daddy sit. New shirt on. Spew. I mean, seriously…spew. All over the shirt that was to make me attractive to my wife. So much for that. Any parent knows exactly what I mean…babies can really puke. I changed to option 2 in the shirt choices.
I was little unnerved, but I still looked pretty good and I was still in a good mood. It’s just a shirt, right? Well, that same scene played itself out 3 more times in the span of the next 2 hours. Every single time I picked up my daughter, she would throw up on me. Nobody else. My wife could sling her all over the room with one arm and a drink in her hand, but if I so much as got near her, boom, another shirt down. True story. By the time she had settled down and fallen asleep, I was down to an emergency shirt. One of those in your closet that sometimes you like and sometimes you don’t, but mostly just wear it so you don’t go around wearing the same things every week. I looked like crap and I was starting to not feel well either. I kept that part to myself, but looking back at pics, I can see the white in my face. My first day of 2000 was not going to be fun.
The rest of the night went great because lots of alcohol cures any worries about vanity and shirts. Midnight came, the world didn’t shut down, my wife still kissed me and loved me even if I was in a horrendous shirt. Then 3 am came. If I’m ever that sick again in my life, just go ahead and put me down like Old Yeller. Whatever form of Ebola my young delightful baby girl was blowing out on me earlier that night had crawled inside me with a deep, dark vengeance. I woke up, buck naked mind you (it was New Year’s Eve 1999/2000 give me a break), and everything that could possibly be inside me started the process of not being inside me anymore. I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but it was a horror show. I would lay on the cold tile floor in-between shivering, dehydrated and done for. That lasted a good 6 hours. By the time I struggled to my feet, I left our room and looked down below to the living room where a mass of bodies covered the landscape. Some on the couch, some on the floor, some under tables, and one outside in a tent. Oh it was a scene.
That is how the 21st century started for me. Near death with Ebola and a bunch of drunk friends all over my otherwise beautiful home. I don’t think I drew it up that way when I was a kid and would count up to see how old I would be in 2000. 4 months after that, my Mom would pass away. That is another story for another day, but suffice it to say, going by the scientifically proven formula, the new century looked very promising for America and rather crappy for me.
But a funny thing happened after my Mom’s funeral. Things started going my way in a big fashion. All that had occurred had lit a fire inside me. It was turning point for me that day on April 11th, 2000 when we buried my mother. If there is ever a point when you know you are “born again” that was it for me. Like a butterfly (I’m not as pretty as a butterfly but it’s just an analogy) emerging from the cocoon, my new life started that day. I can sit here and tell you today that I don’t even remember much about that other guy who used to occupy this body. I do know that he is long gone, and he was a pretty good guy, but his replacement is a much improved version. Life was much better and still is for me, so by now you can guess that it is my fault we find ourselves where we are in America in 2013.
I should have known the 21st century was going to be trouble the moment that big smile broke out on my face…
Gary Wayne Abernathy