It's Monday morning and I'm holding on to the last sips of my coffee with desperation.

"Don't leave me," I imagine whispering sweet nothings to the coffee.

"You used me up, you selfish bastard," coffee says back.

So I chug the damn thing and let out a loud yawn, ready to face the day. (There's a metaphor hidden in there somewhere, probably, but really I just like personification.)

Last night was a great time. And I'm quickly appreciating one of the greatest joys in life that only comes from the experience of having moved though multiple cities and traveling a little: Meeting people you know half way across the world by coincidence of timing.

Luke and I met at (insert cool bar name here) around 6:30. An eclectic place that Luke aptly said reminded him of The Wild Thornberries. One part jungle, one part pirate ship, one part family fun-house. Kids cartonwheeled around as rain pattered against the glass atrium and adults drank mohitos. Apparently mohitos are a thing in Paris, so when in Rome.

Shut up, you know what I mean.

Also, the phone is telling me "pattered" isn't a word. Fuck off, autocorrect. The rain "pattered". It made a sound that goes "patt-patt".

We grab our drinks and head to the dance floor. Which is less dancing and more a designated gladiator arena for children with colorful lights flashing on the floor. They essentially were throwing each other around like Olympic disks and laughing maniacally.

That might be hyperbole, but kids are insane, man.

We talk about work. Life. People. Cities. Cultural differences. Similarities. The gall of people that have strong opinions about other places in the world who have never travelled themselves and how much we sound like assholes sometimes.

Then we walked out into the rain and called a ride across town to a Jazz club that was closed. "I failed" Luke lamented as we split a bottle of wine at a nearby cafe.

"I took a step back and examined two aspects of my life," I said somewhere half way through the bottle. "How do I define myself in my mind, and is that assesment true?"

The creature that is Wesley Lloyd Carter bleeds colorful creativity in the nooks and crannies of his mind. He walks through life hearing a filmscore compose each experience and laughs to himself at any observation because every moment can be likely be summarized into one witty and precise sentence. He is a musician. A writer. A character in a novel that meshes together Jay Gatsby and Harry Potter while musing whimsies about the universe like Carl Sagan.

(Oh god, I'm never writing about myself in the third person again. Gag.)

"I am not who I imagine I am," I acknowledge. "You are not a writer if you don't write. Now a musician if you aren't playing music,"

It's a tough realization that you are not immortal or destined for fame. Especially when you've spent twenty-nine years mapping the electrical pathways of neurons in your brain believing so. It's a dopamine rush to fall into fantasies about the superhero version of yourself that looks like you, but lives a mirrored life of glory and clever comebacks.

(Writing in the second person, however, that's just fine.)

"I've failed twice," Luke says once we reach the next bar, that is sadly not a Jazz bar as expected.

That's not to say it was dissapointing. Spending the rest of the night at a swing club where old men dance their hearts away like pros is oddly jaw-dropping. And Luke and I have a conversation about an old music scene that felt like what hippes must feel when they reminisce Woodstock.

"Point of Recognition was a major inspiration!" Luke says about the once and infamous Christan, straight edge, hardcore band. "The Fallbrook and Inland Empire scene had all the best bands,"

Oh, the late 90's and early 2000's.

We geek out hard for an hour over a mutual past love of bands that most heard of after the fact. Not during the wave of underground metal shows where "dance" meant something specific and everyone knew when to mosh, circle pit, breakdown, and throw some arms.

"Falling Cycle. Nodes of Ranvier. Underoath. Comeback Kid. Sinai Beach," etcetera, etcetera I say.

This morning both of us are texting about how we still can’t believe we knew each other for two years without ever connecting over our mutual teenage love for the underground music scene.

Back to last night...

Luke swing dances. I laugh with the audience in admiration at the talent and jubulance of the dancers and get drunk with the sound of a foreign language filling the air. We all have a good night.

The night moves on. Or ends rather and I call a ride back to the hostel. I wake up to the maids cleaning my room, throw on my sunglasses and head down to the bar to order something with eggs. Write. Head back to my bed to continue writing and stare out the window wondering how the hell I'm going to garner the energy to make it out the front door today.

Staying in bed all day in another country is probably a bad idea, right?

Right.

So here's to life being short and not wasting opportunity. Maybe I'll find a place to get a tattoo that is a pathetic symbol for the brevity of life.

#youonlyliveonceithink #wealldieacreaming #thatsnotsomedepressingwhim #itsakevinsmiththing #toughshitwasagoodbook #whereamigoingwiththis #thankyouforreading #byeeeeeeee