There was a Rudy.
And Rudy was trying to make time go as s-l-o-w as possible.
While the music was amazing - you really must check out the Cherry Coke$ - it was mostly ambiance for time spent with friends.
This year's lineup wasn't what brought me back. The people did that. They became an even bigger part of me. And I took the time to get to know some of the ones I didn't know all that well a lot better.
Hey, you're that guy on Facebook, right?
And then we would lean in, listen, laugh, love.
My tribe would extend.
There were hugs. Hugs for fucking days. I thought I was a good hugger until a beautiful little green haired girl with a penchant for puns taught me a thing or two.
There were tears. Some good, some because Rudy's an asshole who doesn't know when to shut the fuck up.
But mostly, there was a sense of this is what the world should be.
Funny thing about punk rockers; they just want their own space to dance, no favors no fuss (thank you FT). That's all. Given that, they have the ability to transcend all the ugly in this world. You might see a pit full of sweaty, tattooed freaks with funny hair and ugly clothes.
Try seeing with your heart instead of your eyes.
You do that and you'll see kids finally finding their place in this world. The one place where there is no judgment, no derision, only love.
That pit creates family and that family extends to become a tribe. A tribe of people who look out for each other. A tribe of people who pick each other up and look out for one another sometimes in ways their own families won't.
For three glorious fucking days I got to be a part of that. I got to build my tribe even more, strengthen the ties I have.
I have been on that boat three years now. If there is a heaven, it's going to have a lot to live up to. If there is a heaven, it is a boat with a bunch of punks and loud fucking music.
One other thought about the boat.
I was surrounded by so many bad ass women that it was a bit overwhelming. Smart, fiery women with hearts the size of the boat and don't fuck with me attitudes.
I was never not surrounded by them.
I suspect they were drawn to like minded women and saw themselves in Samantha. I am just a fortunate benefactor of my wife's awesomeness.
I don't really have a point. Just that I am aware of just how much awesomeness I was surrounded by. It was pretty fucking cool.
Quick notes: I was told by a friend that her daughter digs me, said I made her feel protected. I got a couple of videos sent to me of kids in California watching me read stories to my niece on youtube. Apparently a kid named Ella really likes me. And I got to spend a lot of time with Dave after the cruise because of shitty weather in Massachusetts. Don't tell Dave but, I am glad for shitty weather.
Might be a Christmas song. Don't even care.