To start at the beginning press “here”
Even at 10 o’ clock at night the city traffic swells like a volcano about to erupt. Drivers gripping their steering wheels like the butt of a gun just waiting for the one thing that will allow them to pull the trigger.
My city driving skills return to me quickly. Even though I haven’t been in a city setting in over 3 years it’s like riding a bike…you never forget.
The closer I get to the part of town I called home, the more anxious I become. My heart rate speeds up and my hands sweat.
It might be because of the opportunity of seeing old friends
It could be my addictive mind is summoning up my old demons to make one more run at catching the dragon I chased for so many years.
I try not to dwell on either. I just want to check into the hotel and formulate a game plan for my return.
I remind myself that I am here to close old doors.
I am not here to tear them off the hinges.
From the downtown exit, I turn onto Main Street, which strikes me as odd that the Main Street for this side of town is actually called Main Street.
My anxiousness is settling.
I pass the car wash that was one of my meeting points for drug deals.
I think with a grin and think of my old running buddy, Chase, as I drive passed it-
“How did we ever NOT get caught meeting a car wash so often but NEVER washing the car….”
I drive on and start looking for other landmarks I would remember.
The late night taco joint is still there.
Most of the bars were still there, although, the neons were blazing different names.
It got me wondering if my favorite dive bar was still around.
Maybe the hotel can wait a while.
It was one of the major reasons I was back in town.
The owner treated my like a son when I used to live here.
In true son fashion, I screwed him out of a lot of money by running up a tab I could never pay….until now.
Initially I wanted to see him before the bar was open to avoid any riff raff that might occur.
Now I’m thinking, no better time like the present.
I turn down the street, hoping the place is still there.
To no surprise, it is. A wry smile comes across my face.
My eyes dart around the parking lot, looking for people or vehicles I might recognize.
I have to remember….it’s been 10 years….things change.
I park my truck, lock it and head towards the door.
The familiar sounds of a crappy live cover band blare out the door. Loud talking, laughter and breaking glass fill my senses.
I pull out my wallet to get out cash for the cover charge and think…
Is there anybody in there
Just nod if you can hear me
Is there anyone at home”
Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd