There’s an ancient idiom that says that it is not one’s destination, but one’s journey.
Every night out is, conservatively, three quarters composed of what occurs outside of the sweaty, seedy basement. The basement is the only part people ever talk about, too. Who was that mullet guy? What was in that juice? Why’d you hook up with that guy? Nobody talks about galloping frantically down the hills of Burlington. Prancing in a makeshift wrecking crew like pillaging vikings in need of citrus. Also, what does everyone look forward to when entrenched in concrete and human? The refreshing bite of outdoor air. Enjoy it while you have it.
It’s not just the breeze and the sightseeing. It’s the circles on your Apple Watch. Everyone and their uncle has an Apple Watch and everyone and their uncle wants to fill up those vexing multi-colored circles. Who needs to look down at their phone while walking anymore? Look down at your Apple Watch instead. A text from Raymond; Hobby Lobby buys ancient artifact from ISIS; you’ve stepped seven thousand forty two times today! How ever did we live without these devices? Wait! Look up! You are about to walk into a light post!
Think about the beer you’ve been drinking. There must be five hundred calories a pop in those Bud Heavies, bud. You feel like a sexy water balloon and your belly button is the lip. If you must roll, roll, but otherwise walk those calories right away. If it feels like its bouncing up around your mouth, that’s a good thing. Walking downhill brings the beer upwards, walking uphill pushes the beer back down. Plan your extended walkabout accordingly.
Everyone’s heard the age old advice: sweat it out. That may be advice for hangovers, but you might as well start sweating now. If you are like me, you’ve been sweating since you got here. Every day the humidity breaks records and the sun beats down like the devil on your armpits and into your masked nostrils, such that you are the devil’s dragon itself, breathing fire into your tired eyeballs. Regardless, why should your party jeans deter you from letting your bodily flood gates open. Everyone can sweat in the basement, but why not sweat on the way there? You might thank me tomorrow.
Explore the sights of Burlington! A person experiencing homelessness spewing obscenities at fire hydrants. Suresh’s house! The world’s largest filing cabinet. Where someone puked earlier! Stumble heavy-footed along uneven sidewalks through crosswalks and over sleeping Champlain students. I hear there’s a party on Trinity! I hear there’s a party on Redstone! I hear there’s a party in the lake! Go, go, go!
When you see a cop, walking while drunk, act as normal as possible. Stand up straight as an arrow, salute for good measure and tell them in a stern and noble voice, “if I was drunk, could I do this?” Then do a summersault to the best of your ability. On the subject, an equally good time to text mom and dad. In their day, cocaine hung from disco balls a stone’s throw from their doors. It may, therefore, be challenging to relate your newfound love of walking. They did tell you to exercise, though. Step count.
You will, eventually, find your basement, your eight-ball, your partner for the night (if you are lucky). But just remember what brought you there. Your Apple Watch, your beer belly, your McCandless spirit. Your own two feet.