A Promise to Myself

by Taco Joe

I’ve made a promise to myself during quarantine. When this damned virus is over and when I have my degree, I’m going to travel.

I want to see the Crimson Tide storm the field in Tuscaloosa, I want to work on a shrimp boat in New Orleans, I want to eat North Carolinian Barbecue, and I want to see a Yankee game. I want to look for Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest, I want to pan for gold in the California wilderness, I want to hike the Rockies and I want to see the Space Needle. I want to sing “Sweet Caroline” in a Red Sox game, I want to hear the Gospel choirs sing in the churches of Chicago, I want to look into the endlessness if Lake Superior and hear the cries of the sailors lost in the mighty waters. I want to spend a whole summer traveling with a minor league baseball team, hearing and writing their stories, and damnit I want to see the Cowboys play in Philly.

I want to see the Permian Panthers play Midland Lee, I want to spit into the Grand Canyon, I want to hear the Mountaineers sing “Country Roads” and see Penn State white out the night. I want to watch the Bayou Bengals rip their opponents to shreds, and watch the Blue Devils and Tar Heels tipoff. I want to see Talladega and drive end to end down Route 66 and I want to see LeBron play before he retires. I want to see Graceland, and Dollyworld, and the Johnny Cash Museum. I want to see Wicked on Broadway and play chess in Central Park. I want to eat lobster in Maine, and oysters in Rhode Island. I want to see a Stanley Cup Final game and swim in the Appalachian River.

These are all extremely American things to want to do and they generally skew sports-related. I recognize that, but it’s my list so I get to decide what I want to do. As I grow up this list may change, it’s nowhere near finished but this is a solid start. I want to go on adventures, and come back to San Antonio and tell the stories of those adventures. I want to tell my grandkids that their Grandpa did stuff, cool stuff, stuff that he enjoyed with interesting people from as many different walks of life as possible. I want to rub elbows with painters, authors, clockmakers, mayors, ex-convicts, truckers, and everything in between. I want to meet people so wildly different from the type of people I grew up around. I want to do so many interesting things in my 20’s and 30’s that my grandkids think I’m lying when I spin the yarns of my adventures.

I promise to myself that when this virus is over, and I have my degree, I am going to travel, and I’m going to write about every last thing.

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