This morning, I sat on my couch and watched a record spin on a turntable across the room. A record. Like, an LP made of vinyl. On a turntable.
If you know me, that alone could probably sum up how different life, and my perspective on it, is these days.
Maybe you’re one of my friends who saw this link on my Facebook or Twitter or Tumblr. Or you’ve read my books and articles and everything I’ve ever written the past 14 years and you get the joke here.
Or maybe somewhere during my two year writing hiatus, you forgot I existed, and you have no idea what the hell is going on with me. Or, maybe you read a thing of mine during the early 2000s on Fark or Slashdot or Digg or whatever. Or you followed my columns at CNN or Huffington Post. Or you stumbled upon one of my books a bunch of years ago, and after I stopped writing about pranks on Wal-Mart and arson at Hooters and mishaps with PETA you gave up on me, only to find me again via Google.
Maybe you’ve never even heard of me. So maybe you don’t get why this would even be funny. Let me explain.
Just a few years ago, the very mention of a turntable would have had me snorting and laughing and throwing out the words “hipster” and “luddite” and “stupid snake oil audiophile” and… oh, who knows what else. Instant snark and bitterness… over what? A medium upon which sound is recorded and played? And because why, because a trend emerged where people began rediscovering the way vinyl sounds and it became popular?
The jokes; oh they would roll. Anything to poke or prod or get attention at the expense of the trendy. Because who else deserves to burn more than the holier-than-thou? And who better to burn them, than the holier-than-holier-than-thou?
And here I sat, this morning in a tattoo-and-artist-and-motorcycle populated section of East Atlanta, in a rental house that I share with my roommate, who is a professional comic book artist. We’ve known each other almost a year and she is one of my best friends in the world.
Rent. Roommate. East Atlanta. Record players. Two-years-ago-me is screaming somewhere deep inside me “Dude, what the FUCK is going on in this bizzaro future you’ve ended up in?”
There was a purring cat in my lap and a warm cup of coffee in my hand. The light notes of John Coltrane’s saxophone drifted through the room, filling the air with an ambiance of relaxing cool. Sunlight shone in bands on the freshly-installed hardwood floors that my roomie and I cried over when they were done, because… well, we were home. And we were making it our home.
A year ago, neither of us had homes.
I pet my cat and he nudged my hand with his nose, then his cheek, telling me where I should be scratching him. I took another sip of my coffee — lightly sweetened with honey with a rich velvety texture created by the coconut milk and butter. I let it sit on my tongue and wash across the back of my mouth before swallowing. I breathed deep — not a sigh, but a purposeful “taking in the moment” breath.
Fucking butter and coconut milk, you guys. I put that in my COFFEE. A quick Google search of Joe+Peacock+Coffee will net you no fewer than 10 rants about hispter coffee bullshit, all predating the whole “Bulletproof Coffee” butter and coconut milk craze. And rest assured, had it showed up a few years ago, I would have railed against it, too.
But now, I can’t be bothered. Because I love it. It tastes good. And the John Coltrane on the record player? It sounds good. And CrossFit? Arguably the most hipster of the jockular activities? It feels good. In fact, I did a competition yesterday. A Masters Competition, for 35+ year olds.
Old man competitions in hipster sports… shit I swore I’d never, ever do.
I can feel my body reacting to the competition yesterday. It appreciates sitting heavy on the couch. It loves the warmth of my cat. It creaks a little when I lift my coffee mug to my lips, but it isn’t complaining — it’s just acknowledging that yesterday took its toll on this 38-year-old frame. But it is happy. Whatever pains it feels are simply reminders that I am alive and awake and in this moment.
This moment… it’s mostly perfect. A relaxing moment of early morning with jazz and coffee and a happy cat and a belly full of delicious breakfast.
It’s been a great morning. Life is good.
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