Part 17: Cowbell Night.

For what it's worth, I really do miss playing music.

This came to me this past week, sitting by the pool. Water, looking at it, never makes me think about the present or the future. It only makes me think of the past.

Working on the water made things harder in the sense that, I had plenty time to think about them and plenty of water around me to encourage me to look back and reflect, reexamine and reassess things.

So poolside in Palm Harbor, Florida, I came to the realization that I miss playing music more than I miss the boats. This is nothing definitive and it's not landmark. Really all it is a mild declaration I'm making on a Friday night, about five minutes before I get in the shower. And really, really all it is a way to start taking about Florida without this week I went to Florida.

Flew down Sunday morning- went straight from the airport to the beach. Monday morning- went straight from the couch to the boat to a couple different islands. Monday night, Tuesday night, Wednesday night we went to baseball games...beisbol Tropicana Field in St. Pete- Rays vs. Red Sox. Fuk Swing, Frog and Frog's ladyfriend Gail. I had never been to a dome before and never want to really be in one again. The whole experience at The Trop was akin to walking around a mall in spring- replacing the Easter Bunny for a hot baseball game with pennant implications. You can score a mixed drink, but unlike some of the newer parks, can't just turn around and watch the game. It was more like Yankee Stadium than Citizens Bank Park or Nationals Park. It's an old, new joint and it really doesn't make a lot of sense.

Not much makes sense in regards to baseball down there, other than the fact the Rays- not with the devil in them anymore, are a damn good baseball team. beisbol.

The videos on the video screen are endless, one rip after another of easy to associate pop-culture references. They have cheerleaders, a mascot that looks like the Phanatic's younger brother- the one who fell off after college and tripped and dipped way too far in some lame ass drugs he found in the slums that are only blocks away from The Trop, and pictures of Rays players dressed as superheroes lining some of the walls. The Trop, with it's palm tree-lined boardwalk and cowbell give-a-ways. Just a weird experience- annoying on Cowbell Night.

Can you imagine if they gave out goddamn cowbells at Fenway, a middle-aged dude in Sox jersey said to me. I was eating a hot dog after trying to eat a burrito...

That goddamn burrito rocked my socks off and on the way to the airport, I was either leaning out the window, peuking, or huddled up in the seat- shivering and sweating profusely at the same time. I wondered how I was going to pull this off. How would I make it through the airport in such a terrible, twisted state. I coasted. I avoided eye-contact. I went straight for the gate, Gate 30, and passed out on the floor.

Okay, we'll be boarding for Flight...

Florida is still the snow globe I remember it was and water is still the instigator it was.

And thankfully, playing loud rock n roll drums, even if it is by myself, is still as fun as it was.

This morning I shaved off my red vacation beard and took a slug of Gatorade. It was time to get back in the swing of things. Time to get the ball rolling again down twists and turns and blind alleys and past blind mice and right smack into the center of Philadelphia and the other fine, exotic points in the Mid Atlantic.

Obie's wedding next week- another gentle reminder that we're starting to get old.

See you soon, buddy!

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