I went to The Mill tonight to help my friend C. celebrate her 40th birthday. The restaurant/bar was full of people I've known and worked with from the mid-eighties. Some of those folks, including the old owner, had been there back in the sixties and seventies. They are a deliciously odd crew who all still smoke and drink whiskey and work jobs, whether they be lawyers or social workers, or juvenile probational officers, where they can help people and/or be creative. They are awesome.
I was lucky to have started working at the Mill the day after I turned nineteen. Not just because I got a free meal and unlimited free beer any shift I worked, but because I felt very, very angry and alienated and the crowd there was a perfect combination for me. Even in the eighties, there were still a lot of employees and patrons who were all bluegrass, hippies who taught me how to mellow the fuck out. There were also many young, angry, kids just like me who helped me to channel my anger into taking drugs and going to shows. (an essential part of burning-out so you can start fresh again) It's the first, and maybe the last time I have met so many weird people all at once.
Now, even after all these many years, I still have to pay my daughters distraction money, so they can go off and play pinball while I have extremely intimate (read crude) conversations with my old cohorts. I'm so glad that I didn't work at an office when I was that age, or I never would have found so many freaks with which to create such a happily dysfunctional family.