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The twilight zone

November 27, 2011

The night before Thanksgiving, a few of my childhood friends and I decided to hit up a local bar called, The Colorado Cafe.  A few of us got together at my parents house.  We got a bottle of Jack Daniels and took more than a few shots.  Talking about the present, some fond childhood/adolescent memories, and what lies ahead, it was fun being with a group of guys I have known for twenty years.  Its very rare that you keep in touch with a core group of 7-8 people for that long.  We had some good laughs, and headed out for a night on the town.  There is always somebody that I hang out with that isn’t a big drinker.  1) Driving drunk is completely unacceptable, 2) Its good to have somebody around that is level headed and sober.  Sean took that spot in the rotation on thanksgiving eve for all of us.  He had just gotten back from a huge road trip and was too exhausted to drink anyway.

The Colorado Cafe is within five minutes of where we all grew up.  The place has been around probably longer than I have.  Normally its known for Square dancing, and has a cowboy vibe to it.  I walked in there one time and was the only one without cowboy boots or a hat.  This bar definitely belongs somewhere in the heart of Texas, but its definitely a good change of pace for the middle of New Jersey.  Bear in mind that I haven’t lived in New Jersey for more than a few weeks at a time for around eight years.  When we walked into The Colorado Cafe, I immediately felt as though I was in an episode of “The Twilight Zone”.  Have you ever gone on the ride “Tower of Terror” in Disney world? Right when you get to the top of the building, and everybody is anxiously standing, strapped in an elevator, a scene from “The Twilight Zone” pops up on a screen.  Next thing you know, you are free falling, and your stomach drops from head to toe.  For some reason, that ride was on my mind when I got into the bar.

Former classmates from my graduating high school class that I hadn’t seen since graduation in June of 2004 were in every which direction that I looked, turned, and walked in.  Throw in every other Watchung Hills graduating class from 2000-2008, this place was filled to the brim with old faces.  I am one of those individuals that have looked the exact same since I was out of the womb.   Maybe not quite that young, but you get the gist.  There were around 400 people in my grade, so for the most part everybody knew each other, at least by face, if not by name.  The reason I had that “Twilight Zone” vibe was because for the most part nobody had changed much.  The guys were 15-20 pounds fatter, and still living in the same area they grew up in.  The girls were either single and still in that “academia bubble/comfort zone”, (going to grad school, and law school…any type of degree that gets another diploma on the wall…gives them more time to figure out life) or were engaged, married, pregnant or the latter: a drunk nostalgic mess, and looking for anything or anybody to cling on.  So many of these guys and girls were reliving high school moments as though they were ever so coveted, cherished, and frozen in time.  Don’t get me wrong, looking back on the past is not always a bad thing.  You can learn from your mistakes, and think of some fond memories with your friends and loved ones.  However, getting caught up in the past is a huge issue.   Overall, it was fun to see some old friends, and catch up with a lot of people I will most likely never run into again.

I spent the first seventeen plus years of my life in New Jersey, and I will never regret that.  Had a great childhood, some friends that will last a lifetime, but after being back there for Thanksgiving, that chapter has been completely closed in my book.  Flying back to Denver early yesterday morning, I felt very refreshed, and very fortunate to be in the position that I am today.   I hope everybody had a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving holiday break.  Until next time…

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