Meeting Luke was a reminder about how even the most straight forward of roads have their forks. As we have choices, which are also – not as straight forward.
After placing my fork and knife down, I planned to just go home after dinner. As I was walking back, I decided to deliberately pass closer by to a group of guys seated by the beach. Maybe I just wanted a proper conversation. Another chance after the dinner I had just sat awkwardly through.
A timid and tentative “What’s up guys” was replied with a confident “Yo Boy.”
That’s how easy it is for a fork to appear.
It turns out I knew just one of the guys, and it wasn’t long before I knew them all pretty well. Well, at least it feels intimate when you’re stumbling home drunk and sharing a cigarette.
I did think about the important Teacher’s March I had to participate in the next day – but I also thought about the other things on my mind. Specifics aside, there was regret, worry, fear, and doubt. The typical shit. I thought a drink or two would help ease me up.
And that’s how easy it is to take the wrong turn.
The rest is a blur. I remember offering my couch to Luke, who I had just met that night. I can’t remember what we spoke about exactly, but I’m sure it was the kind of conversation I wanted to have because I do remember singing this
“I never conquered, rarely came
16 just held such better days
Days when I still felt alive
We couldn’t wait to get outside
The world was wide, too late to try
The tour was over we’d survived
I couldn’t wait till I got home
To pass the time in my room alone”
(Adam’s Song -Blink 182)
Before we could make it through the whole song, my head went from banging to hanging – over the toilet. I threw up – several times, before passing out. In the morning Luke was gone but this note was left in my journal.
He had gone his separate way, and I was left to decide which way I was going to go. What choice I was going to make: to suck it up and go to the March, or to stay home. However, it was obvious I had already made my decision last night. I was in absolutely no condition to go anywhere, let alone, move much. I missed the March. I fucked up. In more ways than one, I really felt like shit.
Despite the hangover, I experienced a sense of clarity regarding the next choice I had to make. Since I valued honest conversations, it was time I had one with my supervisor. Someone I knew well. Someone I had also lied to; stating food poison as the reason I was sick.
The irony is, I’m not only back on the right track, I’m further along it. The conversation gave me a chance to be honest about a lot of things. It really improved our relationship.
Of course, my decision to get drunk could have easily been followed by a worse one to lie about it – but it wasn’t. Of course, I could have also gone to the march and still had that conversation I needed to have – but – I didn’t.
Life is never that straight forward.
Perhaps that’s the blessing in the way we encounter and make choices. At least I learned, in this occasion, sometimes the only way we can make that right turn is by making, what appears to be, a wrong one first.