Ah, Hallowe’en… You know, as much as I love the holiday, and have for as long as I can remember, I was never really into wearing costumes, and yet, I love them… on other people. I was digging around some of my old pics from the college years and unearthed a few gems. I posted a few on facebook, but thought I’d share this one here.
That’s me on the left, my pal Brent on the right. I am dressed as an alcohol and drug-infused poet of wretched verse, Brent as his own worst fear — a clown.
I believe this was Hallowe’en, 1991. I was living Off-Campus with a bunch of guys on Washington Street in Muncie, behind the Student Center and about a block or so east of a Methodist Church, surrounded, for the most part, by civilians.
Those poor people.
I believe the term used to describe the party we threw that night was ‘out-of-hand’. We had a hellacious ‘Scary Hairy Buffalo’ fermented in a 50 gallon trash can in the basement, well over a hundred people in costume, and thunderous music that had to set our neighbors on edge.
We got good and snockered, let me tell you. Brent and I laughed and smoked and drank, and I was lit up like an twenty-four hour pharmacy. To be honest, I’m pretty sure this was the beginning of an epic three day bender. I have a vague recollection of drinking heavily through Devil’s Night, staying up all Hallowe’en, and hitting Papa Lou’s Chug-A-Mug for breakfast and drinking screwdrivers until noon.
Needless to say, when we finally crashed, we crashed hard.
We knew how to have a good time, Brent especially. He was the life of the party, the ringmaster. You always knew how a party was going to go based on his mood. Looking back, it’s like we were looking for something that we never were able to find. Not then anyway.
We were pushing boundaries and seeking out true north. That year and into the next, we discovered our mortality.
For me, it was the ‘almost bottom’ and I began the slow climb back up shortly after. Brent and I had a lot of soul-searching and mending to do after those chaotic days, but we made it up and out. We faced our demons and made peace with our past.
Brent and I lived several lifetimes in the span of a few short years. Hard lessons were learned, but we became better people for having survived it. And I don’t we’d have changed a thing.
Something that came up frequently between us in our later years was the subject of regret and the mistakes of youth. As I see it, if you like who you are, if you love yourself, then there can be no regrets, because all those mistakes helped put you where you are.
It was a struggle, but we got there. I know that Brent was in a good place before he passed. We had come back from the brink of it and he was as happy as I had seen him in a long time.
If you can wring that out of your ride on this merry-go-round then you’ve won the game.
” I am but mad north-north-west. When the wind is
Southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw.” — Hamlet