Going to have to back date this one to May 7th, 2016...
It's moments like these that are beautiful. No, I'm not at a wedding. I'm not at a graduation or anything of the sort. I'm at a bar. In a small town in North Carolina, titled appropriately as "The Dispensary".
It's a Friday night/Saturday morning and the place is as busy as It has ever has been. CJ Ballard and his buddies are playing music live; set up at the front right where you walk in. I don't know who the Mandolin player is, but damn he's killing it. They're playing some classic country rock song and everyone in the place is having a great time.
There are a few people here that I've never met, and people I've known for years. It's such a treat to see so many folks out having a good night. There are even young kids hovering around the pool table. Little Baseball players - Jr. League, I’m assuming. Little girls too, the same age ... 8 or 9 ... They're all so curious. But they could care less at the same time. I can’t even remember being that age. It’s weird.
Lots of different characters around here this evening, yet I don't sense the first bit of judgement being cast. Which is nice. No bad vibes here tonight. Only good vibes, all around.
I'm standing in the back, propped against the wall bar behind the pool table, drinking a PBR. My cousin Justin is here, standing next to me and talking to a stranger about the pool game going on between some tattooed fella and a skinny dark haired girl. I'm watching the game too, but from where I'm situated, I can observe the entire place. And it’s kind of, well, like I said, beautiful. It's all just sort of unfolding perfectly.
It feels like I'm in some scene from a Richard Linklater film. Just to give you a reference. You know, just in the moment. That’s all it is. That’s all that it was. That’s all that we have. A moment. So, be sure to stop and take it all in ever now and then.
- Jared C. Shumate
*(if you don't know who Richard Linklater is, you should do yourself a favor and watch some of his films - there's a link provided below)*