Thursday, June 19, 2008

Guy's month out

I met Jeremy in Dallas during the heady days of the internet revolution where desperate recruiters spent long days cold-calling anyone who might have the smallest amount of web programming experience. Jeremy had recently graduated from Appalachian State with a degree in English and was flown to Dallas to interview because he happened to put the letters HTML on his resume.

For Jeremy, this was the beginning of a life long hate-hate relationship with offices, computers and flouresent lit cubicals. Jeremy's love-love relationship was firmly with Irish traditional music and this is how we met.

I had less than two years of Irish fiddle under my belt, which is not nearly enough by any standard. My sound was scratchy and out of tune and I didn't have many tunes under my fingers but I was dedicated and played every chance I could with whoever was willing to play. Jeremy, his wife Julia and I were the young Irish players and we sought out and began our own all-level sessions in the area.

Jeremy played traditional keyless wooden flute, which is notorious for it's difficutly in keeping pitch. It was abandoned in the late 1800s as a concert instrument when the Boehm system flute was invented which Irish musicans derisively referred to as 'typewriters'. The incessent clacking of silver keys next to your ear in a session was enough to drive anybody insane.

It wasn't long after they came to Dallas that Jeremy and his wife Julia decided it wasn't the place for them. Julia moved back to North Carolina to find a teaching job while Jeremy stayed behind to sell their newly purchased house. Conicidentally, at the same time, my wife was out of the country on a business trip for the month, and that was the beginning of the greatest guys month out that ever was.

"I am not drunk! I AM DRINK! Fuck you and your lame past tense ya big pussy! "

"Wide fucking open" was the a phrase we used in Asheville to describe when all caution in drinking is thrown to the wind, and that sums up how it was between me, Jeremy and a fiddle player named Glenn. After work, we'd meet at the bar to drink, play music and swim in the social scene of the inebriated until the lights were turned on and chairs placed on the tables. We would solumnly swear that we would not return the next day.

But no matter how solmn the vow or exhausted or hungover we were, one of us would find their way back to the bar and a text message would bring the rest of us together to do it all over again.

There were girls, there was music, there were jokes and stories and there was Guiness after pint of Guiness. There was the invention of the "Muldoon Pint" where a Stout was served with a pint of water, which greatly increased drinking endurance. There was Glenn's forehead slap which was applied hilariously to people who were in the middle of a story. There was the waitress Katrina from Ireland who took a liking to Jeremy. There was Jeremy singing an Appalacian song on stage between sets. There were nights where musicians came over and slept on the couch and drunken email messages randomly sent at the late hours of the night. There was so much going on that to this day if feels like a fantastic blur, but 'boys month out' was only temporary.

When the wifes came back and saw the credit card statements that were blackened with the words "Tipperary Inn, Dallas TX", not only did Jeremy and I have to pay the bill but we we had to pay hell as well. Though Jeremy had the appearance of a repentant man I can honestly say I didn't care.

There was just something about being alone in the houses our wifes arranged for us to buy that turned our balls cold, and there was nothing for it but to drink the chill away.

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