Tom Welling once said “I have so much chaos in my life, it’s become normal. You become used to it. You have to just relax, calm down, take a deep breath and try to see how you can make things work rather than complain about how they’re wrong.”
I can relate to every aspect of that quote. From the chaos of my life to wanting to complain about people and things that are wrong. However; it took me traveling halfway across the country, on a semi-unexpected trip to actually realize how tense and stressed out I’d become over the past year.
Actually, truth be told, I have not had a real vacation in quite some time. Sure, I’ve been getting a lot of days off from one job this past year. Only because I earn too much time a month to be able to stay under the mandatory leave carry over date. Also, I should say first and foremost. I don’t really care for time off. Simply because I like to be productive and I know there is plenty of work waiting for me and I should not put it off. Yet, last Thursday morning, I found myself climbing aboard a plane and headed for the great Midwest of the united States of America.
The trip was uneventful. I had one transfer and both seat-mates were more than happy to not talk to me. Not that I am much of a talker. My communication is primarily through my blog. Which you are reading right now. So, kudos to you. When I arrived at my destination, my relaxation finally kicked in. I knew I had no financial or work pressures on me. My family, who I was there to see, were more than happy to allow me any amount of time I needed to decompress.
Which I did.
In the course of three days, I soaked in a hot tub no less than five times. I smoked at least six cigars and I ate more food than I had in probably a month. I also visited a car museum which housed no less than twenty original Hudson’s and one Tucker. I bonded with my mother, my sister, my niece and even my brother-in-law.
I tried to convince my family that on Halloween they should watch horror films and tried to introduce them to “The Evil Dead” by Sam Rami, but they opted out for more saccharin films about the upcoming Christmas season. I balked. I protested and in the end, I went outside to smoke a cigar. Yet, I enjoyed every moment of this happy-go-lucky-fantasy-land.
This all being said, one high-light of the trip was taking a journey with my mother to Dearborn, Michigan to see some of the greatest people I’ve ever met in the horror community. The “RudderRabbits”.
At first, on Friday, when I informed my family that I had been invited to a Halloween party not thirty minutes away from where I was staying, I thought they would balk. To my surprise, they didn’t. My mother even asked to go with me to meet some of my more dark friends. When she expressed concern about where we were going and who these people were I quelled her fears by saying “In the horror community, there is a saying, If you don’t like the Rabbits, then you won’t like me.”
She, my mother, calmed down.
On Saturday, when it came time for us to hit the road, I don’t know who was more excited, me or the woman who gave me life. I bet it was my mom.
Upon our arrival at the Rabbits house, my mother immediately picked out the black flamingos with the skeletal outlines. She was impressed. I just smiled and knew she would have a good time.
Now, I should preface the rest of this story by saying that only one of the Rabbits knew I was coming. If you don’t know, there are at least four Rabbits at any time living and breathing in the horror community. Each one as awesome as the next. However; the primary Rabbit had no clue that I was going to be lighting his doorstep for the Halloween party. When I walked in, Mrs. Rabbit smiled and called my name, so did two of the smaller Rabbits. When the elder and masculine Rabbit turned around in his chair and his gaze fell upon my face, well, all I can say is that he was completely surprised.
The grin on his face, the twinkle in his eyes and the almost clumsy way he got out of his chair and almost knocked it over told me how stunned he was. I just smiled and gave him the biggest hug I could possibly give. A few minutes later we were in his sanctum sanctorum. His book room. Not just me, he’d invited my maker. She, my mother, was more than happy to stand by and watch us drool over limited, lettered and first printing books by some of the best horror writers of the twenty-first century.
My mother expressed interest in some of the things we were saying and Mr. Rabbit quickly dug through his shelves, pulled out a tertiary copy of a book he had and handed it to her. “Enjoy. It’s an amazing story.” He said.
My mom, perplexed and stunned by the generosity of my pal, took the book and thanked him. I took the book from her hand and added it to the pile of books he’d set aside for me. A pile that I’d not asked for nor even expected. A pile of books that I’d simply expressed interest in.
Later, on the ride home after three hours of basking in the joy and energy of books, horror and kids dressed as fantasy ponies and adults dressed as classic horror figures, my mother admitted to me that this was one of the best Halloweens she’d participated in. The kids, the friendship, the laughter and even the embarrassing stories she told about me as a young lost youth in Washington, DC. Had made her realize that even though some people read and watch things that are dark and disturbing, they care about things that are important to the further existence of life. (That is a summary and not a quote.)
When we arrived at our destination, we were both happily satiated and filled with comfort and joy. Our Halloween had been one of the best we’d experienced in years. For me, it has been over twelve years that I’ve been able to immerse myself in the wonderful and horrific world of death and hopelessness that awaits us all.
So, in conclusion, I want to thank my family in Michigan for giving me a great vacation and my pals, the Rabbits, who have renewed my full enjoyment of the hubris of humanity. You, the Rabbits and my family, are totally awesome. I only hope that other travelers on this mudball will know how awesome both of you are.
Okay, too many words and not enough space, have a great week and I hope you all had a great Halloween!
See you next week.