Tuesday Night Revelations
Somewhere in Northwest Georgia, in some suburb of Atlanta, there is a field. It’s close enough to the road to be easily accessible but far enough from people to be quiet. I found myself in this field one Tuesday night over the summer. A friend and I had made a concerted effort to travel. Not even considering the fact that we both worked nearly full time in (paid) internships that we couldn’t take off or that we had no plan or even anywhere to go. He and I have been friends for as long as I can remember.
Jonathan Kuchler and I met sometime early in high school, both being sort of “weird” kids. Weird, in this sense, is a very relative term but I think that it really came down to both of us enjoying school and not liking sports. Neither of us were really that awkward or weird, we just didn’t care for what was deemed important to those who made those decisions. After graduation, he went to UGA and I went off to Georgia State. Staying close to home was important to me; I’ve never been far from home, why start now? We talked and grew and all that bullshit. All that matters now is this damn field.
It wasn’t normally a weeknight like this. In fact, we had always gone out and done this on Saturday nights. I pick him up at 11, he picks a direction, I drive. He had texted me, without any sort of urgency in his voice: Elliot we should go tonight. And so we did. I picked him up and he immediately changed the song. Blame Game, Kanye West. A fantastic song that seemed to set the tone for the night. Not the lyrics really, but the instrumental backing. So very calm. It’s trying to be happy, but the sadness behind it overtakes it. That’s not to say either of us were sad, at all. Sometimes music just fits and this time it did.
I asked him the usual questions: Hows work? Good, easy. Hows Sarah? Shes great. Hows your mom? She misses you. We tried to stay away from the awful small talk that seemed to take precedence in conversation to most people. At this point in our lives, we questioned everything. Not in that pseudo-enlightened way that so many of our peers did but in a way that showed we yearned to know things. Maybe that’s what brought us close together; we wanted to know everything there was to know. He wanted to know what was happening with the economy. He talked about the housing market, and predicted another crash. An absurd fact was his reasoning behind it and yet, somehow, it made quite a bit of sense: People are flipping houses again. That’s bad. Watch HGTV for one day. All day, they flip houses. Before 2008 that’s all they did! I watched as he got very, very excited about this. He expected to make money off of this, somehow. I wasn’t interested in this sort of thing so I nodded while I drove on. He switched his rant to the Venezuelan oil industry or rather the lack of one. Jonathan wasn’t one to ran like this. Something was bothering him but it didn’t feel like I should ask him. I didn’t. Maybe later, if he wanted.
I really couldn’t tell you what direction we drove in. Maybe North, maybe South. The way the Suburbs are this far out, its half farmland, half underpopulated, overdeveloped neighborhoods. We seemed to be the only kids to have disdain for these neighborhoods. Our peers loved them for the ability to host a party in them. Then again, we didn’t really enjoy that aspect of college life. Sure, we may go out once or twice a month, but normally it was staying in with our friends just shooting the shit. A lot of my friends started tripping recently but that wasn’t my thing, either. I watched as they found their own individual party scene and loved it. Watching people and writing things down is a hobby of mine. I do this when they take their drugs, and I do this when I see something in Atlanta but I don’t do it when Jonathan and I go anywhere. I pull into some Waffle House and I immediately want to write. I don’t know why or what about but I’ve a feeling that this is an interesting situation.I recognize the 4Runner in the parking lot, somehow. Maybe I’ll write about their lives, that’d be fun. Inside of the restaurant are people I recognize. Must have gone to school together.
We walk in and nod to them. High school may have been just a year ago but I have no idea who these people are. I recognize the faces, sure, but not the people. We sit down and order. I don’t eat much, its almost midnight and I had a big dinner. Jonathan seemingly hasn’t, so he gets the usual All Star. I watch these kids interact with each other and their friendship seems like its almost there. Perhaps they were sort-of friends in school but have no one to hang out with now that the semester is over. Or, they’re drunk. In fact, they’re just drunk. Very drunk. They get loud and rowdy and knock a plate off of the table. A waitress walks by and scolds them and the shouting begins. This was apparently a common issue and the police are there within minutes. They hide their drunkenness well, no doubt practiced in front of RA’s the previous year. We pay and walk out before the problem is resolved.
Jonathan starts talking again as soon as we’re in the car. He says he wants to get out soon and walk around. I drive for fifteen, maybe twenty, minutes and there we were. A field. There is nothing special about this field. I pull off and we walk into it. It’s more of a clearing than a dedicated field for anything. We’re quiet, the world is quiet and I am content. Jonathan is still uneasy. I don’t know if uneasy is really the right word, but something is different. I ask about it. Tonight is different. I’m happy and the night is happy. I say, okay. He continues, you ever realize how good you have it? Like how great this world is? I ask, why the hell are we in a field? He laughs and says, I like fields. I like night and we can see the moon. Don’t you see how nice this is? I do and tell him this. Okay, he says. We sit there silently for a while, outside the car. We make our way back to the car and we drive home in silence.
I don’t think we drove him quietly because we’d made any sort of crazy life changing discovery. Mostly, I think, we had work tomorrow and it was like 1:30. I drop him off and go home. I write every night and I refuse to take tonight off, even thought it’s so late.
I guess I’m happy. I mean, Jonathan said I’ve got every reason to be, but something isn’t there. I don’t know what it is or even if I’m just in need of sleep. We do have it pretty good and we didn’t get arrested like those other kids probably did. Maybe I’ll make myself happier tomorrow. Can you do that? is that a thing? I guess I’d find out tomorrow.This is a really shitty entry but there’s not much to write about. Today was okay. I didn’t find anything interesting today, nothing learned really. And that bothered me. That’s what why I couldn’t tell myself I was happy. I mean, I definitely wasn’t unhappy. Life is good but I needed to learn something.
I go to Wikipedia. Random article. “Hyatt Regency New Orleans.” This is neat, sort of. This is a really bullshit thing to be considered what I learned about today. Googling “what can I learn in 30 minutes” seems promising. Number one on the list of the first link: Make a perfect hard boiled egg.
I wake up in the morning to some very unpleasant shouting. My mother doesn’t seem impressed that I’ve hard boiled every single egg in the house. I walk downstairs and show her how perfect they are. Mom. Look. I know this pisses you off. But look, have you ever a seen a hard boiled egg this great? I walk up stairs, get my clothes and resolve to learn something that won’t make my mother want to kill me.