...and I am in the West again.
Looked at from one viewpoint, it was an excellent trip: no airline problems, a nice car (which drew plenty of attention), perfectly suited to carry me through the weekend, a nice hotel, reunions with friends I haven't seen in six years and a few new friends.
A couple of nice future prospects came up throughout the four days, too, but I refuse to jinx them by writing about what may happen. If/when they come off, I'll tell you....
For all that, it was also an awful and enervating trip. As expected, the heat and humidity, which I had to deal with while standing around in the sun in jacket and tie for 15 hours over the weekend, wiped me out. Heck, even the locals were grumbling about it, and those of us who were out-of-towners were sweating like crazy. I drank 20 bottle of water over the weekend.
Of course it poured rain on Monday when I had to drive into NYC to meet a colleague for lunch. Any resident can describe that better than I...just ask them what driving on the FDR at noon on a rainy Monday is like....
But those parts of the weekend that were roughest to deal with had nothing to do with weather. Not directly, anyway. As I mentioned before, it has been six years since I've been to Connecticut, six years since I've made the Newark Airport/NJ Turnpike/across the bridges to Hutchinson Parkway/Merritt Parkway in Connecticut/destination drive, but it felt as familiar as if I had done it a week before. I had brought along a map to refresh my memory, but didn't need it. The memories the whole process brought back were good ones, but also bad because they are memories, not part of my current life.
Exit 3 on the Merritt, exit 4, and exit 7 instead of exit 17....
There is also a strange disconnect between me and the Really Wealthy People I interact with at this event. I looked around at a banquet I attended Saturday night -- free for me because I was one of those invited; almost everyone else paid $125 to be there -- and realized that everyone there had, at a minimum, something like 125,000 times as much money as I do. Sitting next to "Chip" and "Buffy" at dinner ("Chip" is a CEO, "Buffy" is a lawyer in Manhattan) didn't help; my position during the weekend made me interesting, and the subject of much interrogation. Conversely, I found "Chip" as tepid as a glass of room-temperature water. If "Buffy" hadn't been so damn delectable, I might have thought the same about her....
I could rant about the Really Wealthy for hours, especially those in Connecticut and, I suppose, all of New England. But, for your sake, I won't.
It was good to get back to the hotel afterward and sit in the bar with Old Friends, people I respect and who respect me, where the talk was about things that are relevant and interesting.
The one possible major, major problem with the weekend I anticipated and dreaded did not happen, thank God. And those who knew of it were too kind to mention a particular name to me....
The ups and downs wore me out. It's that simple.
When all is said and done, I came from a place where I am alone to be in another place where I was alone, only to return to the place where I am always alone.
I spent today sleeping and, when awake, wishing I was asleep.
Is this my role in life? Am I to make people happy, entertain them, in between hours of incredible loneliness? I am not so much jealous of the people I mixed with for their wealth as I was for the fact that they did not, do not, sleep alone and worry that their place in life is peripheral and, ultimately, meaningless.
Enough of this. The next few entires will be pictures. Unfortunately for those of you who couldn't care less, they will be pictures of cars. That is, after all, why I spent a hellish and delightful weekend in Connecticut.
I'm glad I went. I am much, much happier to be home. I know what my life it like; I don't need it thrown in my face at every turn.
1 day ago