My first professional acting job was at place called Unto These Hills. It was an outdoor drama in Cherokee, NC. I was one of the dancers. It was either that or be an Actor/Technician, and I’d rather wear a dance belt than use a wrench any day of the week.
Since it was outside and during the summer, the shows didn’t start until the sun went down, around 8:45pm. It ran until 10:30. Then we had to shower and eat and get out of costumes, so it was midnight before the drinking began. And if my mother is reading this, I’m referring to drinking cranberry juice. With lots and lots of vodka.
Once the drinking commenced it didn’t end until five or six in the morning. We’d sleep until well past noon, have breakfast, go on a hike, and by then it was 6pm and showtime once again. They called this insanely fun schedule “Cherokee Time.”
I loved every second of it.
That was twenty years ago. (I threw up in my mouth a little bit as I wrote that sentence. Twenty years ago?? Seriously?? How the fuck did that happen?)
Jaimie and I starting Day 6 of our vacation, and are currently having our own version of Cherokee Time. It’s crazy how time mellows one out. There’s no binge drinking vodka until six in the morning. Instead it’s binge watching The Bachelorette until 1am, and then me saying, “We can’t stay up until two to watch another one. THAT WOULD BE CRAZY!”
Instead of sleeping until noon, my eyes pop open at 9:30, with me asking how on earth I could have slept so late.
Instead of hung over hikes on the Appalachian Trail, it’s me eating blueberry muffins and reading a book on the beach.
A few years ago I would lament how the might have fallen. I would make some joke about how lame it is be 40, how much cooler I was when I was 21. But I just don’t feel that way. I have zero interest in being young again. I loved my 20s, but I’ve never wanted to do them again. My 30s were way too much fun. And 40- it’s been great thus far. Let’s just keep this shit going.
So if you need me tonight I’ll be on Vacation Time: hanging out with Jaimie, covered in sand and aloe, sober as the day I was born, wondering how on earth Hannah cannot see that Luke P is a complete and total sociopath.
And I’ll be loving every minute of it.