I forgot to write yesterday. Vacations will do that to you. I'm sure all y'all are okay, though because the internet is filled with tons of quality writers. And I promise I'll do something this weekend. Maybe a running diary, maybe a tribute to Ron Paul? who knows? Certainly not me and because I'm the guy who has to peddle this tripe, that means certainly not you, too. Oh well, half the fun of any event is the anticipation, which leads me to today's piece.

Excuse me, while I break my hand patting myself on the back for coming relatively close to completing and actual segue. Fuck. I ruined it, didn't I?

Don't answer that.

Anyway, today I want to talk about the future, not my future, which is decidedly an open and happy one because I am not in prison (the bar was pretty low for me), but the future of a cute, little, twenty year old bartender named Natalee.

Yesterday, because it was too hot to do all that much and I love beer, I went up to the smoky pool hall with a paperback copy of a book about murder victims. There, I spoke with my bartender, Natalee. I would say that she's smarter than most of the bartenders around here but that's not exactly true. Many of my bartenders around here have college degrees and simply elected a life of being able to pay their bills over a life that hinges on paying their dues first. As someone who's been paying dues for five years, I can get behind that. Mainly because no one would ever let me behind a bar, but I'm digressing. The point of this paragraph is to tell you that Natalee is smart.

Also, she's lived in three cities in the past four years and she's looking to move away again. When I asked her why she told me that she didn't really see her future here in Tampa, that she wasn't sure what she should be doing with her life and that she hoped she would find it at her next stop in one of the Carolinas (I get them confused?all apologies to regular reader and fellow blogger, The Dude, who I believe hails from one of the Carolinas). After she explained to me some of the details of her life search, who she wanted to be and how she would know when she was who she wanted to be and all that, I asked her out. After all, she's not gonna be around much longer and I don't always think with the head on top of my neck. And yes, she has a boyfriend, and yes she turned me down. Oh well. Swing a dead cat a thousand times and eventually you'll hit custard.

I don't know what that means, either, but I trust you to get the gist.

After a few drinks I realized something and I tried to tell Natalee just what I realized but I failed to express myself properly because I was half cocked and she's really hot, so my advice kind of got lost in the proverbial mail between my brain and mouth and came out as a compliment of her skin, which is really healthy and soft.

Anyway, here is what I meant to tell her. Maybe y'all can glean something from it. Maybe not.

Who we are is not something that we find in another state or from a school or a career or even what we have chosen to do with our respective lives. Who we are is defined by our actions everyday, by the choices that we make and by the way we treat those around us. It's fun to think that life will be better after we achieve certain goals, but the truth is that no matter what we achieve, we will be no better in actuality if we fail to simply be good people.

Or, to borrow from a stoner fifteen-year-old's poem:

What you do ain't who you are.
It just affects the value of your car.

Good luck to all graduating class members out there, not only in the academic sense, but in the life sense as well.

And best of luck to Natalee, even if she does have a boyfriend.