You were at your best when you accepted that you might have nothing left

I am writing this morning as I listen to a band I was told about by a tiny little girl in the front row of the last Frank show, The Cavalry Is Us. I have no idea if they suck or not, but she was so excited about the band – yes, in large part because her brother is in it – that I have no choice but to listen.

That encapsulates the entire cruise: you meet people, you share a passion for one thing, you share another thing and you walk away with your life richer for the shared experience.

And that is my big takeaway from the weekend; the music brought us together, but the people not named Rudy made the entire experience so much better than just music. The music was the soundtrack for something so much bigger.

We were there to celebrate life with 2000 of our soon-to-be-closest friends. And fuck me, did we ever celebrate. I was given a wombat as a gift. A FUCKING WOMBAT. Sure, it was a cute little stuffed version, but did you get a fucking wombat?! I didn’t think so.

But here’s the real kicker, I feel like telling you too much about it without you having been there in some way diminishes it. This band of miscreants earned this memory and I don’t want to just give it away.

If you weren’t there come next year because you missed something special. Not just the bands, but the people. The kid who brought his violin and would randomly play all over the boat and left a lump in my throat so many times. The shy girl who found the nerve to talk to her favorite artist about her passion to create music (she sings a sweet Across The Universe). The girl celebrating another year cancer free, the people who were there to see one artist and fell in love with another, the friends in all parts of the country that I am looking so forward to seeing at the next show or the next cruise. That’s the stuff that made this cruise magic.

As much as I loved meeting and spending time with some amazing musicians – artists, it’s the people I am returning to in my memories. It’s the people I am most looking forward to seeing next year.

Turns out that little girl in the front row’s brother’s band is pretty fucking good.

Copyright 2022 Rudy Martinez
©2024 Rudy Martinez