Nerve Endings & Detours – Part I

Rays of light, blue skies, vivid colors and the warmth of the sun cover me as I walk to a spot that allows me to stop and smell the roses. I haven’t had an opportunity to sit, think and reminisce about the current state of my life, it certainly has been a whirlwind of changes, connections, and emotions during the last couple of months but yet again, I truly believe that life is meant to be the way it is, even if we are in full control of it -if we choose to- by taking sound, solid decisions that steer us to the direction we want to go, ultimately we find ourselves where we are because of the decisions we make, regardless if we are conscious of them or not, life is the result of the simplest mathematical equation called addition.

This concept got me thinking about the fascinating and magical thing that is impulsive decision-making. Many people see it as ‘erratic behavior’, hard to argue with the fact that it does carry somewhat of a negative connotation but not in my mind.

For the last 15 years, I’ve been one that believes that this mindset can actually be used in a positive way, mainly because it can get you to experience things you otherwise wouldn’t if it wasn’t for that instinctual reaction. From staying out after hours to trying a new mixed drink, buying that motorcycle you’ve always wanted even if its dangerous and outside of your budget, or going to a place that you know it may not be in your best interest but you still choose to go. All perfect examples of going against your better judgment, yet we still do it.

“A feeling, like a pinch in the nerve endings that ignites goosebumps all over me and drives me to take the eventual detour, one that was completely unexpected and unplanned.”

This is the very concept that has gotten me the very best, wackiest, odd, cool, weird, awesome experiences of my life. I started thinking about the many times I changed my mind on the very last second about where to go next, standing on the corner of a street at night, after a get-together with a friend, waiting for my Uber (and canceling on the spot), or even when having a plan all set ready to go, and at that very moment it just happens, something triggers inside of me to take a different route, to change plans, to say ‘Yes’ when I already said ‘No’ multiple times. It is simply a hunch, a feeling, like a pinch in the nerve endings that ignites goosebumps all over me and drives me to take the eventual detour, one that was completely unexpected and unplanned.

Looking back, that is the way I’ve come to know most of the people that at some point in my life made an impact -whether for better or worse- they did. I remember the time when Tyler, a friend of mine back in Texas convinced me to go to this place called HandleBar, I just didn’t feel like going out and why bother when in a bad mood, yet I was convinced to go, the result? I met these guys that played blues and classic rock covers, they were playing that night and after the gig I approach one of them to just chat briefly, thank them for putting on a hellacious show. After a couple of cold ones and talking about our love for rock music, we just clicked and a friendship was born; then after a couple of invites to their shows, I build rapport with the rest of the guys and soon we would go out together to other live shows or shoot the shit during the weekend. 2 months later after meeting them, they lost their main guy that used to run their audio board and lights, he got married and moved away to Minnesota. While trying to find someone else to replace him, Elijah asked me to cover one night as a last minute request, he knew that I had done this but never for a local touring band every so often. I ran the audio, cabling and lights, it was such a success that I became their guy from that point forward. The rest is history but an unexpected friendship had been born.

A similar story happened when I met Abby, her sister was a good friend of mine and a bartender at a near bar from my place. I have had a troublesome, long day and decided to go to pay a visit and get a drink. The bar was slow, not many people in, which allowed for us to catch up for 20 minutes or so, then she says “Hey, you know Abby -my sister- is playing tonight at Silo. You should go and check her out… Tell her that I sent you, ah and she knows you by name, just FYI”. I was on the fence about going, it was also a bit of a stretch from where I was but I had the feeling of maybe I should go. Next thing you know, I’m at the doorstep of the lounge, I go in and it is extremely dimmed but I can hear the sweet little voice on the speakers with soft strums on an acoustic guitar, I make my way through the corridor and there she was, wearing a fedora, a beige top and tight jeans. After the show, I introduced myself to what she responded “Oh, my sister has mentioned you a couple of times. Are you taking me out on a date?” Well, I was not expecting that coming from such a nice, low-key, indie music playing girl. Nevertheless, I helped her pack up her equipment after the gig, I invited her to a bar next door and yet again, music connected me with another beautiful soul. We dated for sometime, now we remain good friends. The coolest thing was that every time I would show up to her performances, she would spot me on the crowd and start playing “Breath” by Breaking Benjamin, that was our song, it was our favorite from the band up until that point and twice she announced that it was dedicated to someone special while we were on our early stages of dating. I was taken aback by the fact that someone would play a particular song just for me every time I would attend to see them play. Distance gets in the way but our friendship remains strong after all these years.

Kathleen, Kathryn, Estephanie, Tara, Chelsea, and Kristen… All of them, results of the “pinch in the nerve endings” effect and last-second detour. Whether it was a friendship, a relationship or just another indecorous outing, it happened because of it. The stories behind it….

To be continued.

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