Well, it starts off ridiculous enough. Coffee. I’m not sure if I’m just a snob now, or if there is an actual, taste-able difference between good and bad coffee. But in my opinion, there is, and I’ve gotten to a place where Dunkin Donuts just is not. Cutting. It. So I picked a spot, different than the one I picked yesterday and only slightly out of the way. I’ll go ahead and add a disclaimer at this point: I DO NOT shop at Wal-Mart except in extraordinary circumstances. For example, I’m not sure how and where to shop local in Augusta GA for radio controlled helicopters. Thus, Wal-Mart becomes an inevitable visit because why on earth would I forgo buying an RC helicopter? I would not.
And so as I pulled into the coffee shop ready to get caffeinated to steel myself for the visit to the Walton family’s pride and joy, I was “mildly” frustrated to read the sign: Closed until June 6th. I resolved to find another coffee shop but upon inspection no option existed that did not add at least 10 minutes to the trip save Starbucks, which I can live with, so I GPS’d and off I went.
Walking into the Starbucks for the second time having got out to my car and realized that “half a pump” of syrup was far too much for me, I felt my annoyance step just a touch higher. *
Alright anyway, I arrive at Wal-Mart and go in to the returns line. Yes, I was returning an RC helicopter for the second time in as many days.
The line is long and slow moving. I get to the front after well over half of my iced coffee is gone only to realize upon explanation that I have forgotten the correct receipt and instead brought a receipt for some wine I picked up the other day. Back to the car.
Suffice to say I’m displeased with myself and my overall performance this morning. I fancy myself a good traveler and capable enough to manage simple tasks efficiently. I carry on.
On a whim and a thirst, I stop into my favorite wine shop in town to chat with Joe and consider a 2006 De Pont Cellars pinot noir from Oregon that I’m shocked and skeptical to find in such a random location and at a rather favorable price. More research needed.
Joe and I are speaking about all things alcohol. He’s helping me pick out some beers, criticizing me for enjoying a Riesling with that “petrol” aroma and generally discussing preferences and tastes. He’s just arrived at work. I pay for my things and as I’m walking out he says “Well then, you going to see Willie at the Banjo-B-Que tonight?” I’m stopped dead in my tracks. Thinking. Pausing. Chills hitting my arms as I spin… “What? Did you say?”
“Willie Nelson. Playing tonight. Should be a good one.”
Yeah Joe. If that’s not the understatement of the year, or at the very least of the quarter, I don’t know what is.
I stare for a second and then blurt “WILLIE FUCKING NELSON IS PLAYING???? HERE??? IN AUGUSTA?!?!?!?”
He pulls out a newspaper, laughs and points to a picture “Sure is” and smiles.
In hindsight had the coffee shop not been closed, had the one-pump not been too much and had I not pep-talked myself to go back in and get it fixed, had the line at Wal-Mart not been so long and had I not on a whim of frustrating stopped in to chat with Joe about one of my favorite subjects, I would have come and gone before Joe got to work. Now who knows if I would have discovered this information elsewhere or how, but it does make me pause and think of feeling annoyed at a handful of little things that had they not occurred, may have prevented me from ever standing in Augusta-fucking-Georgia to dance and sing along with god. Damn. Willie. Fucking. Nelson. **
I’ll be damned if this ain’t a beautiful life.
* My god. That sentence is perhaps the essence of the suffering of first world problems. Disgusting. But true and so it shall remain.
** Turns out that Old Crow Medicine Show is playing the next night. WTF???!? Amazing. Simply amazing.