I have been blogging for a few months now and it is very cool when people I am not aware are reading it will offhandedly comment to me about a certain article. It has gotten to the point where I am now even getting blog requests -my latest request you ask? (I knew you would) would be about my past weekend in Laughlin for the Biker River Run.
(Ok…maybe not requests plural, though my daughter did ask me to write one, swears)
Normally I cannot take requests (don’t you like how I act like I get them all the time?) because I have to be in the moment to write about something. I cannot conjure up some bullshit and blog for the sake of blogging. It needs to come from a quasi-inspirational place. Yes I could probably find something of note in my experience, yet the fact I have been asked brings out the rebellious little shit in me and responds with a resounding no –I guess topics kind of have to be MY idea. Not to mention the fact that I am super busy at work right now, time is precious, and blogging minutes are hard to come by.
Alas, when all is said and done, for today, I will try as I am softening in my older age. And I do love my daughter. And grades can wait till tomorrow.
The story goes back to December 30, 2012 when I was in Las Vegas for a tribute band extravaganza at the Fremont Street experience–alone, as usual (I LOVE to travel alone…remind me to blog about that one day). It was on that night that I met a group of then strangers, now friends, and we pretty much hung out and partied the night away. Ironically this was the same evening my mother went into the hospital…but that was a different blog for a different day.
We have all kept in touch due to the magic of Facebook (social networking does have an upside) and lo and behold, the nearly same group of people reconvened for said weekend in Laughlin.
These are people I did not know existed on the planet 5 months ago. Neat. I love that.
I notice that when one reaches a certain time in life –perhaps as the result of life high mileage, a wider field of experience and residing in the same general dominant culture- you can connect with people of similar age and pretty much feel like you have always known each other. I have found that though all of our collective experiences differ to a degree, we are all pretty much the same species and our needs as human beings have a way of connecting us all at a fairly intimate level.
Perhaps none of us are as unique as we would like to think we are. Yes the places, names, and circumstances may vary from person to person, yet our experiences are just not all THAT different in terms of result and consequence: Pain is pain, gain is gain, love is love, loneliness is loneliness, happiness is happiness, etc…
What most impressed me about the weekend was that I entered a culture of which I had NO previous experience -the heavy metal biker boys and girls scene- and felt COMPLETELY at home with not an ounce of discomfort or strain. Sure I once owned a motorcycle at one point in my life (a Honda Nighthawk…don’t stone me Harley biker friends) and I do have the long locks, though I am not a “biker guy” by any stretch of the imagination and never intend to be. My loud Camaro Flowmaster exhaust is about as culturally rogue as I go.
The people there were fantastic, friendly as hell, yet I did feel like I was at a type of costume party. Perhaps the irony is that this comes from a culture that identifies with freedom and hitting the open road in packs to express their individualism. For a group “doing their own thing” they sure were all wearing, saying and doing the same thing.
Perhaps our personal need to be part of something larger than ourselves and join the great collective is a powerful one necessitating a bit of good old-fashioned conformity to identify…even for the non-conformist crowd.
Costume or not, I realized that our subculture of choice and all the ornamental accouterments and customs that go with it are not nearly powerful enough to overcome the general connections all human beings share and cannot separate us from our common essence amongst each other.
To be perfectly candid, as I write this I am not sure if these ideas and understandings say more about me, my life and where I am at or, as I post here, a philosophy of life and human nature in general. I guess I will never know for certain.
Either way, life rocks and I am loving it. Bring it on.
Not bad for a request, hey?