A Nice Place To Visit…

It’s Summer Concert Season, and this month I am seeing some great shows, starting tomorrow:

June 8 – Dolly Parton at Wolf Trap
June 15 – Violent Femmes at The National
June 18 – Al Stewart at The Birchmere
June 22 – The Cure at Merriweather (Maryland)
June 24 – The Cure in Atlanta

That list doesn’t even include shows later this summer (I’ll get to those in another post); the reason for this entry? As noted above, I’m returning to Atlanta…and I’m kinda freaking out about it.

I haven’t even really thought about Atlanta (except following the Braves) since I left the city on a very cold February morning in 2013, crammed into the backseat of a car that contained almost everything I owned. I had lived in Atlanta for the previous six months, and had developed a love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with the city I truly believed would be my home.

It didn’t work out that way, and I am very glad that a) I tried to make it work and b) I wasn’t stubborn enough to stay there while my health and mental state got worse. When I left Atlanta, I was in the absolute darkest place mentally. I had no desire to return to Atlanta, and even stopped watching Atlanta Braves baseball for the 2013 season because it brought up a lot of wounds that had not yet healed.

Now, three-plus years since my exit, I think I am ready to walk the streets of the ATL again without getting physically ill, or heading into an emotional tailspin.

I’m glad it’s just for a few days, and I am thrilled that I’ll be seeing some friends. In fact, before the Cure show was announced, my friend Mimi (Here’s the story of the first time we met in Atlanta) and I had talked about touring/stalking the outdoor sets of ‘The Walking Dead’ so, once the Cure show was announced, that was the catalyst to set all of this in motion. My main objective, apart from catching up with some dear friends, stalking TWD and seeing The Cure, is to stay busy. I’m not even sure I will take the transit system (MARTA) because, one of the last times I was in a MARTA station is when I had a major emotional breakdown, to the point where I do not recall the walk home from the station to my apartment.

Ironically, the Braves won’t even be in town the weekend I visit. I had hoped to see them play on the Thursday before the Cure show, but the start time was moved from a night game to an afternoon game, and my plane won’t land in the city until an hour after scheduled first pitch. That’s okay, and it’s probably for the best. The team is horrid this year, and I think visiting The Ted (Turner Field) will be akin to a wake, as the team and the city play out the string of games in 2016, literally counting down to Opening Day April 2017, when the Braves leave Downtown Atlanta for a shiny new park in the suburbs.

Like I said, I want to stay busy while I am there, because I know myself well enough to know that if I am alone in my hotel room, mindlessly flipping channels, it will remind me too much of how things ended the last time I was in Atlanta.

Lots of things have changed in the 40 months since I was last there, and I think I will be fine and I’ll have a fabulous time. Atlanta and I still have a strange relationship, though. You know the old adage, ‘Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there’? Well, I already know I don’t want to live in Atlanta. I just hope, after ‘breaking up’ with the city and doubting I’d ever be back, that after this visit, Atlanta for me is once again a nice place to visit.