I LET GO OF THE ROPE
In 1971 the Pastime Bar in Tallahassee was the social hub for a lot of people and more than that it was an attitude. It was a let go and be who you are place. The second most powerful conversation I ever had in that bar was with two of my new friends who gave me an hour-long exposition on the absurdity and folly of regret; God, did I need that. I had been spending most of my time beating myself up over how I had failed my family, friends, and people who had held me in high esteem; daily trying to dig myself out of and running from depression, I was taking life way too seriously.
With Kenny and all my new friends, I let go of the rope and adopted their philosophy that they celebrated and shared with the uptight, distraught and somewhat mad characters that were drawn to this place of release, this place to reboot. Their prescription for fellow burnouts was to hit the “Fuck It Button” and then they would howl with laughter. I have to admit that I was set back on my heels when I first heard them joyfully recommend that I hit the “Fuck It Button”, but when I saw that they were dead serious it didn’t take long and little explanation for me to see the light and begin to pound the bar and laugh like had I just gotten the punchline to the best joke I’d ever heard, and I think it was.
Today, looking back at my time at the Pastime always brings me pure joy and deep feelings of gratitude. I’m sure they saved my sanity, if not my life. It reminds me of when Neo was given the choice of the red pill or the blue pill in the movie, The Matrix. I chose the red pill; I’ve always loved an adventure and I was sick of the dead spiritual zone I’d been living in for four years. Of course, I had no such clarity of thought at the time.
Today, I can either see that time and those events as just simply surviving or as a transition I had to go through to get ready for the rest of my destiny in a world that was changing much faster than a guy like me was ready for and the preparations were wild and painful. I thank God for the strength and good health He has always given me to handle the challenges I’ve had waiting around every corner.