Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The End Of The Beginning

1968 Oldsmobile F85 Coupe. In about the same condition as mine when I left home for college in 1977. Not my house. Not my hoses.

The last couple of weeks, I have seen several pals displaying the parental version of the Thousand Yard Stare as their children go off to college. My son the Future Rock Star is 13 and flying headlong toward four years of High School. Then...

I remember leaving home for college like it was yesterday afternoon. I was totally consumed with moving out. I packed my limited gear into a 1968 Oldsmobile F85. A car so spartan it lacked power steering. And air conditioning. You opened the hood and there was just an engine sitting there. No frills to block the view. The environmental synergy created by adding the F85's all black vinyl interior to the Florida summer heat was enough to test the endurance of even an otherwise vigorous eighteen year old. I could eat anything I wanted in those days and not have any risk of gaining weight. The metabolic struggle caused by a thirty minute ride in my car burned away any level of caloric intake.

My roommate at Florida State was to be a fine fellow I knew from High School. One of the great pals ever. Our school's unlimited class wrestling champion, he was a mountain of a man who carried around 320 pounds on a light day. He also had the ubiquitous [in 1977] long hair. And a red beard. A gentle character who looked like a Viking raider on a particularly bad day. Our next door neighbors in the dorm were nice fellows who owned a giant bong and had the habit of playing the very same Deep Purple song every morning at about 2:00. My roommate cherished his sleep, and even gentle souls have a rather short lifetime limit for Deep Purple songs played at high volume in the wee small hours. The third night he stomped out in the hallway, resplendent in only his boxer shorts, with fire in his eyes. He pounded on the next door until the scared looking stoners opened it, stomped over to the record player, broke the record in two, and went back to bed. I was immensely proud of him.

After establishing peace and quiet for our dormitory hall, and making an initial reconnaissance of the campus, I told my roommate that I had some shopping to do. A few little items that I had been pondering for quite some time but that I could not procure while living at my parents' home. I felt for some reason that I had to procure a trench coat which I found at a local military surplus store. Then a pack of long, thin cigars in long, thin plastic tubes I saw advertised in a magazine. Then a copy of Playboy. To which I immediately entered a subscription. That magazine subscription made my reputation as a man of style in my dorm once the student who sorted the mail told everyone I was getting it each month. It was 1977 after all. Armed with my trench coat, cigars, and Playboy I sallied forth into college life.

Leaving home for college was the most exciting moment of my life up to that point. It still ranks in the top ten. But I have learned one thing about that most important threshold event. The forward looking compulsion to run straight into living one's own life which enervates the mind of a teen may be tedious and even painful to parents but it is a good and even necessary thing. I had a great relationship with my parents. When the day came for me to go I would not have been able to leave them if the thought had even crossed my mind to look in the rear view mirror of that old car to see the expressions on their faces as I left them standing in the driveway behind me.


Belle de Ville said...

A trenchcoat, cigars and a subscription to playboy, you were a young man of sytle indeed!

James said...

Never look back.

Unknown said...

Driving #1 and only to college is heart wrenching rite of passage for
parent and child. No words suffice, but you do a fine job of it.
Here's to you, M Lane.

Just a dreamer said...

Damn, you are a good writer! I so enjoy reading your posts. JAD

M.Lane said...

BDV, Lord knows I tried! And congrats on the jewelry worn by Ms. Hendricks!

James, but it is so hard not to isn't it?

BG, Thanks and back at ya.

JAD, That is so nice. Thanks for dropping by!


Main Line Sportsman said...

I currently have a 69 Olds 442 rag-top. I did a post on this beautiful piece of American muscle!
I still love the lines of the 68 . Great post!

M.Lane said...

MLS, thanks! That 442 was another breed of cat altogether. I recall your piece on it and it sounds like a magnificent car. I still have a soft spot for that old F85 though. Made in Canada. No frills.