I wasn’t even 20 years old during the first October Weekend. Yet that two week free-for-all stands out with me to this very day, more than a quarter century later.
That October Weekend — the official one — was all about friends, drinking, smoking pot, and girls — if we were lucky enough to get them. Girls, that is. When you’re 20 years old, friends, beer and pot were readily available. You didn’t have to woo those back to the house, not like you did the girls.
Back then, though, that’s all that really mattered — those four things were the most important things in our lives and we all knew we were making memories to last a lifetime.
In a nutshell, The October Weekend was born from a two-week period of my life, growing up in Maine. My friend Mark’s mother was out of town for two weeks, leaving us alone to “house sit.” There were four of us who crashed there during that two week span — Yours Truly, Mark, Mike and John P.
There were seven cases of beer in the hall closet (c’mon, you ever try to fit seven cases of beer into a refrigerator?), rolling papers on the coffee table, Cable TV to entertain us, and millions of laughs and memories to be made.
We lived them all — hence the nickname “The October Weekend.” For two straight weeks, 14 days, it was just a constant party. A weekend not crammed into one night, but extended over the course of half the month of October.
The memories, at least at the time, seemed to be coming a mile a minute during The October Weekend. It was decided that a book needed to be written about our youthful exploits and bravado. Its title? You guessed it, “The October Weekend.”
I was the writer, so I was the one chosen to author it. If I could ever have found the right words, that is.
Like I said crazy times. And the consumption of beer and marijuana was a recipe for making memories, but tended to be a distraction from remembering the memories that were being made.
The term, however, never left me.
The October Weekend. It was poetic. It rang true then, it rings true now.
The title popped into my head earlier this week and made me smile. It also made me think. In a few months, I’m going to be 47 years old. The 20-year-old me who lived the first October Weekend is long gone.
He was in the spring of his life back then — so fresh and new and full of hope. Now, I feel as though I am in the fall season of my time here on this earth. My body feels like it’s October, even though as of this writing, it’s actually February.
It’s as though I’m in the second October Weekend of my life. It’s a vastly different weekend.
I don’t drink as much as I used and in the last 10 years my intake of marijuana has been cut down to once a decade. (Hey, maybe I’m due). Friends are far fewer, though through the magic of Facebook, I am in touch with more people now, in a less personable online way, than I ever have been. But I know they’re out there somewhere, and there is comfort in that.
Ah, women. I’m sure there’s a blog posting in there somewhere, but I don’t think the Internet is big enough to be filled with all the horror stories and heartbreak that the fairer sex can divvy out on a regular basis.
But I digress.
The October Weekend — new and improved — now lives on, not in book form, or a novel, as we had once pictured, but in my words, here in this blog form.
There will be thoughts, memories, stories, essays, poems, pictures — everything my mind can get a grasp on and spill out through the lightning of my fingertips tapping on a keyboard. I hope to write one posting a day, at least that’s my goal. If I’m lucky, I’ll get two.
I know in my heart I was born to write. So as I creep along to a certain death somewhere down the line, that’s what I’m going to do. Well, it’s what I hope to do. To write. And write. And write.
I just told somebody the other day, a bit player from my past who had started writing her own blog, that the thing I admired the most about what she was writing was her honesty and her emotions, both of which jumped off the page and made for a compelling read. I’m going to try to do that here.
Maybe you’ll join me as a frequent reader. Maybe you’ll stop by from time to time and just find things that interest you.
If you are here, Welcome. If you decided to come back and check it out again, I’ll offer you up and early “Welcome Back.”
If you’re bored, and wondering what the hell you’re doing here? Well, frankly, I don’t care. I’m writing this one for me, not for anybody else.
This is my October Weekend. The sequel.
And it begins now.