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Monday, May 21, 2007

What Had Happened
5/19 - 5/20



Once in a while I notice something that reminds me how great it is to be a single, adequately compensated, thirsty young man in my twenties. I honestly cannot remember the last uneventful weekend I've had. This past Saturday and Sunday was particularly grand, with the following highlights:
- 225 minutes of soccer played at various locations around the DC metro area
- Saturday afternoon/evening power drinking and eating on roof of building on U St with Dolores & others (see below)
- Sunday afternoon/evening power drinking and eating at a home in Silver Spring, MD

Between the two cookouts I took down the following meat products:
- 5 sausages
- 1 hot dog
- 1 veggie burger
- 2 hamburgers
- 1 piece of chicken

There is no telling how many cups of beer I had, but it was enough on Saturday for me to pass out by 10PM with no recollection of anything that had transpired past sundown. On Sunday, it was enough for me to ignore the ankle and Achilles injuries sustained throughout the weekend, as well as my extreme intoxication, and play an indoor soccer match at 10PM.

While this past weekend was certainly fantastic, I can't say that months from now it will stand out among other recent weekends which have included the races in Richmond, part 1 of the Dolores birthday party, and the NFL draft. Yet for one area man who attended the party on Sunday afternoon, this past weekend will stick out like a stiff johnson through a glory hole.

The man appeared to be in his late twenties or early thirties. I do not recall his name. He arrived at the cookout about thirty minutes after we did, and was flanked by a wife and a child, no more than eighteen months old. While most of the party was sitting around close to the keg or checking out the motorcycles owned by the hosts and guests, this fella was primarily fifteen or so yards away sitting with his family and another friend or two on the grass, with the focus on the little boy. At this stage, there was no reason to suspect that the young father was not enjoying himself. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon in greater Washington. Large quantities of different varieties of delicious meat were on the grill. He had a plastic cup of beer to sip on when he got a chance. Friends were close by.

After a couple of hours, the man's baby was ready for the scheduled nap, and orders were out to move cars in the driveway so that the little guy could be transported home. The late model Jetta wagon pulled away, but someone was missing from it. That someone was the dad, now hoisting a full beer, standing tall, and sporting an ear-to-ear grin. There is no mistaking a father of a young child who has been given permission to let loose. Absolutely nothing had a fucking prayer of breaking up this guy's bliss. It was a sight to behold. It didn't matter whether he was in a conversation with someone at the party or just standing there alone for a second--nothing could wipe away the joy. As great as the beer and grilled foods tasted to me, there is no way that taste approached what the freed father was experienced. I would imagine that the difference would be on the order of an after-work beer at home versus the beers that the prisoners drank on the roof of the prison in Shawshank Redemption. At one point, I walked up to him and told him that I had witnessed all of the key events of his afternoon and just wanted to congratulate him on everything.

While things like credit card payments and mortgages weigh on the people in my demographic stratum, it is important that we cherish these weekends before the next phases in life phase these out to the point where each one seems as rare as a Michigan basketball victory over a ranked opponent.

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