[Originally written on this date in 2004]
Incredibly happy that I drove down to the Shore yesterday. There was a bit of traffic on the Parkway, but that never bothered me. Why be in a rush if you don’t have to be? It’s not like the beach is going to run away. Stopped at a rest area to roll a joint and smoked en route while making that transition from the highway to local streets. Cranked up the tunes as I headed over the bridge and rolled down my windows, letting that salty air fill the car. Pulled into a gravel lot where I immediately recognized Jon’s Chevy. He was sitting on the trunk smoking a joint of his own and smiled as soon as he saw me.
Suffice to say we were both in a good mood by the time we hit the boards, amusing ourselves by making ridiculous claims of having more swagger L.A.M.F. than the other. The aroma of the ocean was inhaled deep into my lungs while we passed by the few arcades that were open. There was a handful of people present, mostly joggers and small groups of kids. Pretty sure we effectively scared the crap out of them, because they stared at us but did not say anything. Well, to our faces anyway, but someone grew enough balls to shout something stupid after we walked passed. Jon turns around and tells them that they should look him in the eye if they are going to try and insult him instead of being cowards. They ran off and he laughed while wrapping an arm around my waist.
It is rather humorous that the current generation of kids trying to stand out all wind up looking pretty much the same. Fence sitters that throw together various stereotypical outfits so they can be clumped into one super genre. Jon and I have always held pride in not being piegeonholed into any sort of scene, because they are all pretty much bullshit anyway. We get a kick out of seeing kids in their black clothes, wallet chains, patches and the sort trying to look different while failing miserably. Mass-produced merchandise cannot take the place of DIY no matter how hard it tries, and while I can admit that we put effort into our appearances, it’s because we enjoy the way we look and not to garner attention.
Perhaps in my old age, I am in fact slowly becoming an elitist, thanks in part to the fact that the most influential person in my life has passed on his knowledge and wisdom. While I believe that I am still a kid at heart and have no shame in enjoying fun things, I just laugh at how hard these kids try to be something they will never be. When will people realize that the clothes you wear and the music you listen to do not ultimately define who you are?
After walking down to the end of the boards then circling around, Jon and I went down on the beach [past where all the amusements were] just as the sun was setting. That was a breath-taking moment. Brilliant colors splashed against the sky – yellow, orange, pink, purple and various shades of blue. The surging tide that crashed along the sandy shore had a strange aqua green and almost neon-blue tint to it. In the distance, the sea spray cast a haze on the shoreline, where a lighthouse dilligantly stood watch. It was a truly beautiful sight and I found myself smiling as a hand held mine tightly.
The sun had nearly gone down, so we decided to leave, heading off into the sunset – I was captivated by the effect it had on the water. It was dark by the time I reached the Parkway and I followed the Chevy to a neon-lit diner where Jon treated me to an amazing meal. There was plenty of music on the jukebox to accompany hours of conversation, and later in the parking lot, I was in his arms inhaling the lingering smell of the ocean embedded in the fibers of his shirt. His smiling face was the last thing I saw as I pulled away and drove back to the house.
Of course I am going back down today, as soon as I put myself together.