Life at The Smiling Skull: An Ode to Community

Here I am, sitting on the floor of my empty room, feeling so anxious, seconds away from barfing. I’m thinking about all the things and people I’ll be missing once I make the impending move to Chicago.

I won’t be spending my Thursday, Friday, and (let’s be real here), Saturday nights getting drunk at my usual hole, where groups of four or more of my closest girlfriends will no longer cram ourselves into one stall to ‘pee’. I won’t wake up hungover as fuck, I won’t crawl to Casa for brunch and inevitability see everyone I know and partied with the night prior. I won’t be able to escape my reality for a brief period of time and watch sheep from boxcars, I won’t have the Skull to retreat to when I need a cheap shot or crappy cup of coffee. These thoughts make me want to sob into my hands and never leave my room, but instead of being ~tres depressed~ all day I want to take a moment and express thanks to the city and community that shaped me.

Thank you Athens, for giving me a town to grow up and find myself in. Thank you for bringing me together with the most amazing, talented, unique, beautiful and down-to-party group and of friends I could ever ask for. Thank you for all those hard lessons, and for the really wonderful ones, for giving me a place to live out my “I just wanna eat drugs” phase,  for your beautiful landscapes and hidden swimming spots, for the bike rides and sunshine.

Thank you for Chris Wolf and The Smiling Skull for giving me the best job I’ve ever had, and introducing me to such a beautiful community of people. Thank you for all the dance parties, long nights, and early mornings. Thank you to Scott and The Union for all the amazing shows an photo opportunities and for throwing us a bitchin’ going away party. Especially thank you to Alli Maloney and RASCAL and to anyone who has read this column for giving me the motivation and courage to continue writing and taking photos. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Girl, please, thank YOU.]

I am beyond excited to continue my life and grow even more in Chicago. Athens, you’ve been so good to me, and I can only hope even a small fraction of those posi vibes carries over to my new life. I can’t wait to share all my new adventures and mistakes with you while in ChiTown, where a new column awaits.

So here I go- off to a whole day of lasts, only to wake up to a whole new day of firsts.

This is the final installment of Life at The Smiling Skull, Ashleigh Dye’s musings from behind a bar in rural Southeastern Ohio. She has already moved to Chicago and settled herself, and will continue her relationship as a writer with RASCAL under a new column name (TBD). It has been a pleasure, friend.  


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