When I turned 21 there were a few memorable things that happened. Now, at this time I was in my first relationship and I'm pretty sure by that time (if I remember correctly) things were already beginning to go sour. Although I remember she was there on my birthday (which I spent in Kansas) I honestly don't remember anything that happened between us that day. Which means that either anything that did happen was not important to me or the good that happened outweighed the bad. All the same, that's not to say I didn't love her, but I think it's very much possible to love someone and continue in a destructive situation.
I was back from college over the summer in Lawrence and one of my favorite bands at the time, Emery, was playing a show there in my hometown. Now, it wasn't a typical show, it was a live acoustic show... on my birthday. Suffice to say, I of course had to go.
If I remember correctly the show was at the bottleneck, which I have honestly only been to a few times.
I went with a few friends at my girlfriend. Two of these friends are men who have stuck with me since 7th grade (I still find it amazing we became friends back then) and even though we don't talk a lot these days, they're still there in my life and it's like not much has changed (because a lot has actually changed).
Well, since I was 21 that meant I could now drink. Being the good kid that I was, I had never drank before this day. So they decided to get me a drink at the concert. It was nothing crazy and in fact nowadays I would say it was quite week, but hey, things were different then. If I remember correctly that drink was a Smirnoff ice. I did enjoy it at the time, though my drinking tastes have changed drastically.
There was one thing I didn't think about, though, and that was that my mom wanted to buy me my first drink. Well, after all that she's done for me (which, trust me, is a lot) to say I felt guilty doesn't even begin to explain it. Unfortunately, that's a moment I'll never be able to take back.
But it seems that's the nature of life. You do things you wish you could of done differently and learn from them and move on. Maybe being back for my 30th birthday will make up for a small part of that day. Maybe not.
All the same, spending that day at a concert with two of my best friends is a memory well worth having. And it's nice that the entire concert was recorded live and put onto the special edition of their next album, "I'm Only A Man", which isn't their best by far but still enjoyable.
Thanks to Michael Pollock for suggesting I write about that day. And thanks to him and Isaac Bari for sticking by my side through all these years, even if it's been from a distance.