Dusted off one of my old originals ... a 21-year-old song in fact, played on a 32-year-old guitar, by a 49-year-old dad. That's a lot of old.
This is a picture of my new water heater. I know. Nobody cares. I didn't until today, when my old water heater burst and spewed a geyser of untold gallons all over our garage. The water then seeped into two adjoining rooms. Oh joy. Let's just say my Shop-Vac and I have never been closer. Fingers crossed everything dries out soon and this turns into a hilarious story we tell or just forget altogether.
This city is exploding with music and magic and filth and ghosts and dreams and absolutely amazing food. As the writer Andrei Codrescu half joked, "If there were no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free people dying of boredom."
I never planned or even wanted to stay here.
Like other moves I'd made since college, my sojourn to Orlando 20 years ago this month was sure to be temporary, a springboard to the next vista, the next diversion. I really wasn't sure where I was going, to be honest. My work was more or less driving all decisions, offering up tangents and chances to reinvent myself in new places.
Then real life started happening. I met the woman who would become my wife. I got a better job in terms of stability and potential. A house was purchased. A little boy was born. Then a little girl.
I guess you could say I got lucky.
Now, with so many memories set against the backdrop of Orlando, this town feels like it's always been home. (For the record, my real hometown is Winston-Salem, N.C., the leafy place of my birth that's always at the periphery of my thoughts, but that's another story.)
Funny how things turn out. One minute you're taking a simple detour. The next, you're removing the training wheels from the bikes, re-roofing the house, saving for college educations and, as the palms flutter in the backyard, wondering how you ever lived and loved anywhere else.
Just picked up my Telecaster from Guitar Factory in Orlando after a few tweaks and repairs. "What else can we do to this instrument to make it the best it can possibly be?" I ask Bill, one of the shop's master craftsmen. "Just play the hell out of it," he says. I guess I have my work cut out for me.
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