Fear and Loathing at Busch Gardens

It is tough getting older. Consider this, at another time in my life I would still be at Busch Gardens about to ride the Apollo’s Chariot for the 16th time. I would have made several loops around the park and spent an entire day having fun and riding rides.

Today I didn’t ride a single roller coaster. I went to the Sesame Street zone, ate lunch, rode the merry-go-round, went to The Land of the Dragons, walked through a bird exhibit, and stood and watched wolves while one of my sons sat on my shoulders and howled. Then we left. We spent a total of around four hours at the park. A long way from the days when I arrived at opening and didn’t leave until closing. There are times when I question whether I even know what night is anymore.

There is a part of me that wants to go out after the kids are asleep just to see what the world is up to. Think about time in this fashion. There are people, like me, that rise with or before the sun and go to sleep shortly after it sets. I am awake and active before most stores are open. I get frustrated because there are times I can’t go somewhere because it isn’t open yet. Then there are people that live their life during the normal hours. Those that rise at 8:00 AM, go to work at 9:00, eat dinner around 7:00, and stay up to watch the 11:00 PM news. I can’t even remember the last time I saw 11:00 PM on a clock. It is rare enough I see 10:00 PM.

I remember back in college people wouldn’t even leave the dorm until it was midnight or later. The party didn’t even start until the morning hours. It is these late night creatures that I sometimes envy. The people that live opposite from me. The ones I run into at the 24 hour diner whose day is ending as mine is beginning. We inhabit the same planet but live in completely different times. Their world is and isn’t mine.

To think there was a time when I was that person walking into Denny’s at 4:00 AM to get breakfast before heading home. I wonder what it would be like to live as a night person again. I can’t go back there though. It would take too much work and first I’d have to be able to stay at Busch Gardens longer than four hours and not have aching and sore thighs from pushing three babies in a stroller.

Can't go back. 
Only forward.
The life I have
is the one I earned.
The cards I hold
the ones I lay.
I am the morning.
Night, a winter friend.

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