The Interesting Thing About Knowing What You Want

February 4th 2014

Story originally written and experienced: March 10th 2010

It was steamy.

 6 people were involved. And it was incredibly – steamy. And interesting. And strange.

 The story was this:

 After a day of drinking, basking on the beaches

En route to basking.

En route to basking.


Doesn't get more casual than this.

Doesn’t get more casual than this.


  And investing in only the finest dining in the South of Florida





My spring break crew and I decided to top                   our day of college shenanigans by taking a


 In the downstairs hot tub.

  Bikinis were tied. Swim trunks were adjusted. And as we approached  >>>  the steaming pool of relaxation.

 We realized we weren’t the only ones invested in this idea. Not at all.

 Initially there was only one occupant.

Lone ranger.

Lone ranger.

But as soon as Chuck vacated the premises, we were joined by a another couple.

 Adam and Lisa.

 “What’s up kids?!”

 Adam asked us as he sPlAsHeD his legs into the water and

dipped himself in.

Gold chain resting on his chest. Perfectly coifed hair with streaks of grey. Mildly in shape. Sporting sunglasses at night.

And Lisa.Brown bob. Lavender bikini. A cigarette in her left hand and a tan that was one day overdone.

 “I’m Adam. This is my wife – Lisa. Lisa say hi sweetie.”

 “Hi kids I’m Lisahhh.” she relayed with a thick Chicago accent and a slight drunken slur.

 “Hey – Hi- What’s up – How’s it going?” we all simultaneously relayed.

 “You kids here on vacation?”

 “Yeah. Spring break.”

 “Ohhhh spring breaaaak?!” Adam taunted us. “Well I bet I can one up ya. We’re here vacationing…from a fuckin vacation!”

 Lisa laughed. We kind of did too.

 “Oh yeah? And what vacation are you vacationing from?” I chimed in with a (literal) heated curiosity.

 “Thailand. We just got back. Shit was great. They’ve got lots of prostitutes. And they don’t know how ta make real alcohol. It’s dirty as all hell. But I fuckin love the joint! Speakin of joint, ya guys have any…you know…green stuff?”

 We all shook our heads and offered him a beer instead.

 “Nah I’m good. Actually I think I’ve got some ova on that chair. Can’t live without it. I’ve grown it. Sold it. And gone to jail for it. And I ain’t neva gonna stop doing it. It’s too good. Lisa, sweetie, you want this beer? I’m gonna smoke instead.”

 “Nah I’m good. Hey! That Captain Morgan ova there. Does it belong to you guys?”

 We all looked at > each < > other.< and made a consensual no.

 “Think I’m just gonna borrow it then…” Lisa said coyly “Just a coupla swigs. I’m already drunk anyway.”

 “Nothing new there, sweetheart.”

 “Shut up, Adam. Don’t worry kids. He’s jokin. He’s only sayin that because I bartend twice a week at our restaurant in Chicago.

 “You guys own a restaurant in Chicago?”

 “Of course! How else do you think we could afford a vacation…from a vacation?” Adam said.

 They both laughed incessantly.

 We looked around with nervous laughter and internal entertainment.

 Lisa leaned over to Adam.

 “Adam…I think they’re judgin us. Are you kids judgin us?!”

 “No – what? – no – not at all – who judge – I’m drunk – what?”

 “Good because if you judge me, I’ll punch you in the throat.” Lisa said with a half smirk on her face.

 And despite anything she said after that, I knew she absolutely was not kidding.

 “I’m just kiddin. Chilllllll. Have a swig of this.” she said as she cemented the Captain Morgan by our

o   u   t   s   t   r   e  t   c   h  e   d

arms that    o-u-t-l-i-n-e-d   the perimeter of the tub.

 “You kids can judge me. I don’t care” she continued. “Adam is 40. I’m 37. And we’re gettin drunk in a hot tub with a bunch of college kids. What messes, right? But whateva. I’m happy. Adam’s happy. We’re livin a carefree, desired life. Goin to Thailand. I mean, this is never where I thought I would be…why would it? Who predicts this? Or better yet, who predicts this making someone as happy as I am? Lots of my friends are off gettin married. Havin babies and what not. And they’re supa happy. Most of them. But I am too…and is that such a bad thing? I didn’t always want this. But I want it now. And that’s almost the best part!”

 She took another swig of the Captain Morgan. Whispered something seemingly scandalous in Adam’s ear and within moments they were gone.

 And later that night after we wrapped up in warm towels and made ourselves a few more drinks, I thought about it. I did. About what Lisa said. Even when she was drunk. And even if she didn’t remember saying it.

That if you think about it. If you really, really think about it.

 The interesting thing about knowing what we want is:

 It’s never the damn same.


 Potentially doesn’t exist – yet.

 Whether it’s a person. A place. Or thing.

 And it reminded me of my friend James who worked in a meat shop for 2 years in Toledo, Ohio. Paying his way through college. Happy enough but unknowingly unsatisfied. And one day he decided to save up a bit of money and take a trip. Just to say he could take one. And just because he had never really done it before. So he did. He saved it. And he booked a trip to Germany on February 28th, 2010.

 And the thing about that is.

 He never came back.

 “I’ve never felt more alive” he told me in an e-mail once. “What I was doing before felt perfectly fine. But when I realized how unsatisfactory and optional ‘perfectly fine’ really was – well. You know the rest.”

 Which also reminded me of my friend who got married. And then she got divorced. And she was really happy before the marriage. Mostly during it. And in time – after it. “Divorce was liberating” she told me over coffee one day. “I’m sad that it didn’t work out. But. I think I would have been more sad if it did. Only because – I wouldn’t be where I am now. As happy as I am. Feeling the way I do.”

 Which was kind of the opposite of the long-time lovers I’ve been friends with for years. You see, for a while they just wanted to be friends. Then they wanted to date. But nothing more. They didn’t want to get engaged. Not yet. But a few years later. They did. And then they got married. And they didn’t want kids. But 2 years later – they did. And I remember Peter said something really interesting to me one day when I picked him up from the airport after an out of town trip, “It’s weird. But I’ve always wanted her. But never in the same way. Once as a friend. Then as girlfriend. Eventually as a fiancé. And at some point –  a wife. It’s always been her. But the way I’ve wanted her has changed. And I guess that’s kind of nice.”

 And it was nice. And it made me feel better. And it made me feel great. Only because.

 It made me realize that maybe the reason it’s so hard to really figure out what we want is because

 It’s never the damn same.

 It’s unpredictable. It’s undefined. And it’s all a damn surprise. Yes – you want to get married. Yes – you want to follow your dreams. Yes- you want something more. Something different. Something new.

 And you stress yourself out about it because you can’t figure out why you just can’t damn decide how to get there. And wondering if you’re doing it all wrong.

 But if you were to stand there.

Where you are right now.

This minute.

This second.

 Think about where you are

And where you were.

And just kind of realize that – you’ve been figuring it out all along.

 And maybe life isn’t so much about “Ultimately discovering the key to what in the hell we want”

 But rather.

 Satisfying our cravings along the way.

 Accepting the fact that your favorite snack used to be chocolate once but now it’s barbecue chips and that’s not wrong it just – is what is. And having an explanation for it would ruin all the fun.

 And who knows – maybe somewhere along the way the things that we want most. Like best. And enjoy to the fullest. Really will stick around. And it’s all because you used adventure and a leap of faith as stepping stones to get there.

 And then all of a sudden you kind of realize – figuring this out isn’t so scary after all.

 In fact.

 It’s kind of fun.

 In fact.

 It’s incredibly interesting.

Like this post and also have a things for donuts? That’s fantastic. Me too. Shoot me an e-mail at and tell me the damn thing or better yet –  share this with a friend you know might be a little more down and confused lately and could use a little reminder that they’re doing just damn fine. They  appreciate friends like you. We all do.