It’s been a while since I’ve written about me. Coming home after a walk this afternoon, I realize I might be missing Tennessee. I only spent a year up there, merely two states north of this gun-shaped state, but the experience changed the course of my life. For better or worse, I’m not sure.
When I was 16 and living in a trailer with my brother, I couldn’t imagine a worse fate than being torn away from my hot new soon-to-be-Marine boy toy and the beloved Diablo 2 PC game I was playing on repeat. I personally loathed that place, with its cardboard walls and waterfall floods from the ceilings during the hurricanes of ’07, but I started to feel like Florida was really my home when I was squatting all hot and bitten-up by sweat bees that would cozy up in the crook of your arm and leave you blistered and sweltering during an entire summer out on a 40-acre lot full of bucks that would stomp and hiss as a warning that we were invading their territory as we built a huge house from scratch for ourselves, with the use of a couple of 4-wheelers and Joe, the stocky lumberjack sensitive pot-smoker dude.
There were these mornings when this mist would come rising over the mountains and envelop the family of goats on the hillside in direct proportion to our view. The sounds and the smells are truly unforgettable, after seven years later it seems, when you find yourself stuck in a revolving door of mismatch jobs that don’t quite fit your mental outlook of what it should mean to make a living as an adult.
I thought I could change the world with my words, somehow make information free, like that twice remade video game-turned movie where the ultimate computer operating system was released to the public. I can’t help but linger in the world where my memories are more potent than today’s goals of completing two stories for a student newspaper that I probably shouldn’t still be writing for after three years… not to mention I’m no longer enrolled as of this semester. Back in Tennessee, my brother and I slaved away for a mother who made us laugh as she belted a single phrase from a song she had plugged into her ears to make herself feel like she wasn’t drunkenly doing the dishes in a fifth-wheel in some town called Liberty, where the closest known neighbors lived in a nudist colony miles up the sandy road, with a few abandoned houses still crumbling in between.
I didn’t know it then, but things were so simple that year. We didn’t think we’d ever see anyone our age again, we might as well have become savages, hunting turkey and deer in the woods until the ages of 81 and 83, perhaps. Eventually my brother and I were taken in by a family, friends of friends, who were nice enough to let my ex-ex boyfriend come up and convince us to move back “home” to Florida once again.
What a shock it turned out to be, to break up with someone, to be dumped simultaneously, to fight for someone to break free from his needle-shaped addictive tendencies, only to see that some people just can’t change.
To be thrown back into a mass of kids just trying to figure out their own schedules and their own lots in life, then aged 18, it was almost too much for me. I don’t know how my brother feels about all this, but I wonder about him sometimes. The way he lives with our mom, at 22, and not really giving two shits about what it all means. Maybe he’s the one who really sees the truth. I’m starting to believe he’s the one who has it all figured out. My older sister didn’t have to go through the whole Tennessee trial thing; she had a little newborn nugget to worry over and dropped out of high school to take care of her. She finally did get a GED and I believe she’s taking classes somewhere, but I really thought I could compete with her and try to get my degree first. What a farce. How huge dreams give way to tiny raindrops of possibility, then hopes kind of come crashing down into waves of “meh, it’s a small world after all.”
Isn’t it? On my walk I noticed they’re building another Publix on the corner of 436 & Lake Baldwin and there’s already one green healthy revolutionary super trendy marketplace thriving on its own not a mile down the road. I don’t understand the industry, this writing one of the one where miles of trash can form an island where birds go to die out in the sea. Emily Dickinson wrote something to the effect of, if we’re truly living, this leaves time for little else, and it has me thinking, what are we living for?
Hearing that old band of brothers playing a song, “Passerby” I believe, on a CD at this new job I have for the summer leads me to believe we are just running in circles, huh? It’s coming to that point in this blog where things make little to no sense at all, but I can’t help myself and wrap this thing up the way I think it should be, with questions, not some big solution seen after all my typing. Charles de Lint wrote about it, Vonnegut, Stephen King… it’s like religion or vampires or something mystical that you can’t quite put your finger on, but you have faith it’s there, right?
As a kid I would read and read and read, perhaps out of a need to escape or maybe there was just thing hunger eating away at me, to learn something important that I couldn’t discover on my own. I looked up to fictional elders who taught me to stop reading and write my own story, but I can’t help going against their wishes and I pig out on their words until the point of bursting on a daily basis. It may be unhealthy, but… what’s next? Can I kidnap my brother and drag him to Wisconsin, where one of our mutual NJROTC buddies lives currently? Would it be inappropriate to crash on an old friend’s couch who you haven’t seen in years? Can small, 150-word articles do a true story justice, when there is so much to say on the topic, or is writing a statement consisting of 140 characters a form of art when it comes to getting your point across in such a succinct and accurate manner?
Well, whoever reads this, if you wanna talk about it, cool. If not, just let this go as another one of those blogs you stumble upon and, perhaps, skim ’til you find a post on video games or oil spills or something more interesting than mere words thrust upon a page in empty internet space.
Until next time, I guess the message for now would to be find yourself. Find your home, and if anything, regardless of whether it’s making you happy or making you money, discover where your true heart lies and don’t let it go. It may be in some past relationship you can’t let go of or in a dream of the future you just keep in which you’re still racing to see the the finish line, there must be some way to find contentedness for now. In this moment. If it takes a cigarette, a novel, a viddy game, blog, a long walk or watching Edward Scissorhands for the gazillionth time, I guess you just find whatever it is that helps quiet the white noise that threatens to go from a messy din to a loud crash reverberating in the back of your mind… and just keep it. It’s yours.
Don’t be ashamed. Find your outlet, find your family, and just keep on going… Keep on keeping on, they say.