Dan’s head was throbbing as he rubbed his eyes desperately trying to remove the black spots he was seeing. A damp, sweaty hot moist air-filled with dust and steamy radiator coolant enveloped the convertible passenger compartment. Just moments ago it was an idyllic afternoon, then, the world became motionless followed by a splitting headache, and the amped up sounds of colorful language. Dan surveyed the condition of his surroundings, the car’s interior, and where the driver Bob was.
But that was now! And how it all came about over the course of an hour or two was just like this…
The phone rang! It was Bob who was all too excited to have heard the voice of his friend Dan on the other end. “Hay get your stuff ready for a ride of your life in the beast!” Bob didn’t even wait for an answer before adding, “I’ll be over in just a minute.” And just like that, before it really got started the call ended.
Dan rubbed his glazed over eyes. A night of cramming for exams, and now the lack of caffeine coursing through his half-asleep body left him barely able to comprehend this latest phone conversation, net alone realize it was 4:30 in the afternoon. All the strength he had went into following his all too familiar morning routine of making strong coffee. No sooner did the sugar and creamer break the surface tension of coffee in his mug when the doorbell rang, followed by the rapid drum-roll knuckle knocking, it was Bob’s patented style.
Dan walked to the door, mug in hand, fresh coffee stain on the front of his tee-shirt and opened it. Bob rushed through the doorway as if he was a breath of fresh air, just like an invisible ghost was giving chase. Bob’s mouth was moving, arms were waving, his head was bobbing, but Dan was still waiting for his morning jolt to fully kick in to understand it all. Dan could now see why his parents said, Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future. With only half a cup of coffee injected and some 3 hours sleep, it wasn’t time for a high-octane encounter with Bob.
“Are you alive in there?” The basketball player’s hands grabbed Dan shoulders with a semi-firm grasp, garnering his total attention. “We are about to have a night of our lives. We have the “Beast”, and it’s ready to roll. We have some nice girls waiting for the BBQ of their lives. All is good in our world. So! May I ask? What is it with you and acting like your one of the walking dead?” Bob asked, with his eyes transfixed just inches from Dan’s face.
There is tremendous value in small congregations coming together, even if it is just one friend meeting up with another. Of course friends are supposed to influence, support, to engage and encourage, as well as push you along despite of any particular personal emotions. But the spark that lights the fire and gets the ball rolling farthest for guys is the mere mention of girls.
It wasn’t long before the wind was whipping through hair. These were the halcyon days of fuel prices, so the throaty throb of the big V-8 gulping gallons of gas didn’t dampen any of their enthusiasm. This was a caffeine high punctuated by a redline RPM thrill ride, just two college friends leaving the worry of term papers, finals, and professors saying, “You could’ve done better”, far behind. On Dan’s lap were the condiments along with other ingredients to the BBQ Bonfire night of their lives. Food, music, girls, fire, and a spectacular view of the city on a starry night, what else is needed to forget all about your troubles?
The eight-track tape spun out catchy tunes, Dan and Bob did their best to sing along while adding in some drum solo’s by rapping on the dashboard and steering wheel. The convertible wound its way up the hills towards the overlook. The overlook was a flat place on the edge of the rim of the canyon, overlooking the city far below. This was where college kids would gather to make out. But occasionally celebratory bonfires would light a commemorative spectacle of some sporting victory, along with a keg or two. Neither of which was the case tonight. Tonight was a time to remember for a life-time, because you’re only young once.
Bob was enjoying the raw power of his convertible taking corners sharp and sling shooting out of them using the raw power of 350 some odd horses instantly unleashed while depressing the accelerator to the floor. The car responded to the silent commands of Bob’s thoughts and his lead foot. Taking a corner a bit too cavalierly Bob and Dan were suddenly confronted with a split-second decision. There in the road, was a large, lifeless skunk. It had met its fate in their lane just off-center of the dividing lines, and Bob loath to run it over again. The only thing faster than his reaction was the thought of the odoriferous imprint on his showroom convertible. The beast as it was called couldn’t show up to the bonfire smelling like ass. What kind of impression would that leave?
Dan’s mouth just began to move and at the same time his hand snapped forward, pointing his finger in the direction of the motionless heap in the road. His cohort jerked the steering wheel in an effort to veer just past it. As fate would have it the car plowed straight into the ditch.
Dan’s head was throbbing as he rubbed his eyes desperately trying to remove the black spots he was seeing. A damp, sweaty hot moist air-filled with dust and steamy radiator coolant enveloped the convertible passenger compartment. Just moments ago it was an idyllic afternoon, then, the world became motionless followed by a splitting headache, and the amped up sounds of colorful language. Dan surveyed the condition of his surroundings, the car’s interior, and where the driver Bob was. The condiments along with other ingredients had become pools of kaleidoscopic pickle-laced colors complemented with the unmistakable aroma of their nearby nemesis.
Bob was kicking dirt onto the lifeless skunk, braiding it with obscenities, oblivious to the smell of skunk and rotting meat; occasionally glancing in the direction of his poor car cradled by the roadside ditch, just to renew his energy of angry outbursts against the motionless perpetrator to their dilemma. There were only two real choices to make now. Either way it seemed like it was going to be a long walk down the hills to get help, or the road up the hills, leaving the car just where she sat while trying to salvage the night and go for the bonfire.
There is so much in life that we can change, but then, there are some things we can’t change. A person can become a skunk in your life’s path for 1 of 3 reasons. 1) They want to be you. 2) They hate themselves. 3) They see you as a threat.
Isn’t life a lot like that? I mean everyday life, where even small decisions have to be made despite uncertain outcomes or unquantifiable risks to each possibility in choosing. We all have friends and we all should have heard those famous words by now “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” And therein lays the rub, finding quality people who are also willing to be perfectly honest with you no matter if you want them to be in the first place. Those same people who are at one time friends can then also become out of jealousy, or laziness, your detractors, critics, hecklers, or disbelieves, of your ideas or even of you personally. Just because the way you choose to live life. When all you’re doing is chasing your dreams. Sometimes people become paralyzed with fear, unable to move forward towards their dreams because of their friends–who turn out to be more like road kill skunks; raising a stink over the fact that you’re moving along towards your dreams and they’re not.
Misery Loves Company, so why not spread the wealth, is the philosophy of what seems to be behind those complaints and magnifications made by so-called friends when pointing out possible negatives along the way. Why do people do that? Why don’t they just jump in, be happy for you and your ambition and offer support instead of drawing attention any potential negatives.
Any worthwhile success is built on overcoming negative obstacles.
Don’t listen! Don’t follow them! Don’t let them blind you with uncomfortable visions and strange uncomfortable bouquets of negative possibilities.
It’s lonely at the top because so few people put their fears aside and push forward—living outside the state of fear. Instead they’re gladly accepting an average existence. While there are forces of compliance and conformity in this society, accepting their solicitation is all to accepting of lowering individual standards in becoming average! Average to a point of just being the same as everyone else; when in truth everyone seeks separation through individualism.
The shortest distance between point “A” and “B” is a straight line. Sometimes that means running the risks of running over that skunk in the road again / or leaving a friend behind that is holding you back from your dreams. While we all should be embracing those friends who will share the art of chasing dreams, while offering help in those times perfumed with skunk odor. Life isn’t about the successes we have or share. It’s about the good memories we create with quality people along the way as we travel in similar directions towards individual dreams, sharing those common goals of searching for success through adventure. Without great efforts made, we can never evaluate what is the true value of anything worthwhile. Sometimes the chase is what defines success, and its worth, not just capturing it.
Bob and Dan story is just that, a life’s story they will shared forever. A happening that strengthened their relationship into a life time friendship, and sometimes finding one of those kinds of people “A life time friendship” is worth all the success you could ever find in the world.
Keep your eyes on those dreams and those destinations not those obstacles along the way. Hold your nose, and drive straight through all of your oppositions.