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2020-03-02 16:06:17 (UTC)

Prompt 059: Best Afternoon Ever

59. Think back to the best afternoon you've ever had. Why was it so awesome? What would you have to do to repeat or top such a memorable day?
I wonder if I could settle on a single, specific, best afternoon ever. It seems like there are a handful of memorable moments in my life, and many of them happen to be in a given afternoon. I may have written about them here in the past. For example:
- the first time I had sex. I suppose nearly any afternoon delight would work here.
- completing my first-ever solo bicycle ride from my town to the shore (over 170 miles)
- being hired by my current day job
- my 42nd birthday, like, that entire day
- hosting a luncheon and game day for my coworkers, December 2019
- Global Game Jam 2019
- performing in Las Vegas with one of my bands for a television show
- the first time I hosted a Sunday-afternoon board game event at a local pub
- hanging out with one of my designer friends, taking him to a host of different places while he was recovering from a divorce

There are awesome afternoons for the different seasons of my life. An interesting thing to note is that some of these activities don't hold the same charm and captivation for me now that they did then. The first time I had sex? It was monumental for certain, at least at the time. But it's not been the best sex I've ever had (I'm pretty sure the woman thought it was pretty terrible!). But I definitely won't forget it. I'm not in bands anymore, and I doubt I'll be in one again anytime soon. Likewise, the long-distance bike rides are something I would love to do again, but I don't see as part of my future for a host of different reasons.

If I were to try to redo one of these awesome afternoons, it likely would be something related to planning and hosting an event attended by others. I like the feeling of my hard work paying off as enjoyment for someone else. It's gratifying to me to hear that my efforts and energies, and what I've built, were enjoyed and appreciated by others.

Not only does it seem I seek validation from others, but I also like seeing others succeed.

Oh! This reminds me of another afternoon I experienced. So I used to operate a grassroots, underground performance venue. It was a really cool place, and I worked like a dog organizing events, staffing shows, coordinating by phone and email for all manner of events. One of the events was a late-night cabaret of music, dance, short stage plays, and so on. One of the performers at this cabaret was a talented beatboxer. He did all sorts of awesome stuff just with his mouth and a mix. I operated the sound board for him and all that stuff.

Fast forward perhaps eight years later. The arts non-profit is long gone. I'm still good friends with the cabaret organizer, and she asks me to come to a show at the local symphony hall. The beatboxer performs on their stage, backed by a full orchestra.

He had moved so far ahead from where he was when he first appeared on the stage I ran. During the intermission of the show, I broke down and wept. Was it pride? Was it surprise? Was it just being caught up in the moment? I don't know why I did that. I was just so damn impressed with his talent, ambition, and his journey.

After the intermission, he did the exact same gimmicks he did when he performed at our tiny, rinky-dink nonprofit artspace for $5 a seat. But this time, it was in front of a capacity crowd who paid $75 each at a symphony hall.

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