Vacation, all I ever wanted

So vacation’s over.  Blah.

We enjoyed many fine Arkansas vacation activities like swimming, playing,

driving around aimlessly, visiting the local Wal*Mart, and eating out three times a day.  I got to show the kids the place where I grew up

including the pine tree I planted when I was about eight years old

which the wife insists that I most certainly could not have planted because she thinks a 24-year-old tree would be much smaller than that.  For the rest of that day, she kept pointing at 100-year-old oak trees along the highway and asking me if I had planted those too.  PFFFT.

We went to dinner with my friend Jimmy C and his girlfriend who will be first-time parents in January.  We ate and chatted while the wife and I tried to scare the hell out of them with horror stories about being parents.  Just make it easier on yourselves and give up all your hopes and dreams now.  It’s less painful that way.

We visited my brother and his kids.  I got to play the hip uncle when I picked up my eleven-year-old nephew’s guitar and gave him his first lesson on power chords.  How cool is that?

Of course, going home again leaves you feeling all melancholy and shit too.  A few years ago when we visited Arkansas, I remember going to Wal*Mart and thinking that there was a pretty good chance that I would see someone I knew there.  This time, however, when I walked around Wal*Mart I was fairly certain that nobody would recognize me.  It felt more like when I first moved to Indianapolis.  Every single person was a complete stranger.  I was invisible.

Even when I went to the lone gas station in my hometown, it was the same.  I went in and grabbed a Diet Mountain Dew.  Walking up to the front, I saw that the cashier was a guy I had gone to school with, although he was a year older than me.  I wondered if he would recognize me as I handed him my five dollar bill.  “And your change is $3.78, sir.”  Sir?  Really?  No, he had no clue who I was.  And I was invisible again.

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