Cruising the Garden State

[Originally written on this date in 2005]

One of the greatest joys of warm weather is when the classics come out of their long winter hibernation, once again cruising the long stretches of asphalt ocean, bright paint jobs and chrome sparkling in the sun.  Of course I have made it no secret that I love these massive metal machines and enjoy when they gather for people like me to gawk and drool over.  There was no doubt when I read that there would be some of these beautiful mechanic masterpieces on display down in Asbury that I would be going to see them.

It should be noted here that I received my new insurance policy and card in the mail, which meant I was finally able to get my car fixed, rendering it a paperweight no more.  The repairs did not cost me a dime either, a relief since I spent most of the money I had saved up on the insurance.

Anyway, driving along the highway that late Sunday afternoon with the windows rolled down, smoking a blunt while listening to surf tunes and just enjoying the cloudless blue sky gave me a sense of freedom I had not felt in a while.  Saw some great cars that were obviously on their way to the show, mostly restored classics but there was a chopped and lowered yellow and turquoise station wagon which caught my eye.  Nothing could beat that black hot rod though, as you just don’t see those beasts prowling the streets these days.

When I finally got to the spot where the show was, there were not many people and I was sort of disappointed.  Then again, the cars I saw were nothing short of great; I admire those who take the invest time, money and effort to keep these pieces of living history in running condition.  Perhaps it was the blunt and all that fresh sea air, but I found myself being social without reservations and was having a blast despite being by myself.  There were thoughts that strayed and wondered what my best friend was up to since I had not heard from him in a while, and our last few interactions left me with questions about our relationship.

Thankfully I had brought my good friend Jim along, which enabled me to focus on partaking in solo rounds of drunken bowling.  A few more drinks were had at the bar as I sat and listened to those good old rockabilly tunes, randomly falling into conversation with people who asked me about my tattoos or piercings.  Whether it was the continued consumption of whiskey or occasional smoke breaks in outside alleyways, I talked to more people in a few hours than I had all year and was well entertained.  Sasquatch and the Sick-A-Billies rocked the lanes all evening and I may have even danced with a random gentleman who had politely invited me to.

In the early morning hours I drove along winding country roads to a remote part of the D&R Canal where I decided to go for a stroll, enjoying the scenery as I always do, and taking some time on the way back to hit some rocks into the water with sticks.

The following day I went for a ride, having made myself a nice little picnic lunch consisting of a turkey sandwich and fruit salad.  For some reason I had a lot of energy and was cycling aggressively, quickly working up an appetite with the quest for speed over distance.  Stopped to sit by a lake and ate my lunch, gazing across the water to watch ducks float on its surface.  Absolute serenity used to feel as though it was something I would never find, and yet it was so easy to gain access to when I looked in the right places.  Being separated from everyone by towering trees has always brought me as much comfort as sitting on sand and seeing nothing but beach and ocean for miles.  There are noises you notice that usually are drowned out by the constant flow of traffic and obnoxious conversations, songs of birds you cannot see but know are fluttering among the branches that are heavy with flowers.  It doesn’t matter that there is a spider crawling over your foot, as you are too busy focused on the way the sunlight dances on the lake.  The ride back was a bit harder, but I accomplished it nonetheless and had greatly enjoyed myself.

There had been plans to do the usual Electric Sideshow performance at the Rail, but unfortunately I had an allergic reaction to some O-rings.  Rewinding to one week ago, I stretched my septum up to its final size of 0g.  After a few days, the crescent kept sliding around and I was paranoid that it might fall out in my sleep.  Going through the process of stretching a septum is definitely not comfortable, and not wanting to have to repeat it, I needed something that would prevent the jewelry from slipping.  Though I should have tried to get another piece of jewelry, I had already invested in that hematite plug and figured that purchasing O-rings was the better option.  After only two nights, I realized that like my ears, my nose was not happy with them and the hole was in fact oozing, which leads to crust and discomfort.

Since my nose and its parts are now extremely tender even though they have been receiving daily sea salt soaks, this leaves me unable to perform my Human Blockhead stunts, which makes up a significant part of the Electric Sideshow routine.  There did not seem to be any sense in doing half of our acts, as I am someone who goes for all or nothing, and so I hit up the liquor store to distract me from what was happening with my nose.  Picked up vodka and drank that while watching the Amityville Horror.  Have not seen the original so I am unable to contrast and compare the two, but the flick managed to make me jump more than once so I was pleased to have a horror movie actually accomplished its purpose.

There is a car show up on Route 1 this upcoming Sunday, so of course I will be attending that, but for the time being I am keeping myself company with a bottle.


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