I find myself in my hometown today through a sequence of events that was both inevitable and unforeseeable. And, yes, I am aware of the incongruity there.
So let’s go back to 2005 for a moment. Bear with me, this will all make sense shortly.
I met a girl through an online dating site in late 2004. And while we did not make that “connection”, we became fast friends. Damn near best friends. I knew her skeletons and she knew mine. And we both knew where they were buried. We hung out – a lot. Got our nipples pierced together. (And by that, I do not mean that my nipples were pierced to hers. Or vice versa.) She was the topic of some of my best blog entries on the long lost old blog – entries that I will never see again. (Including the original “Left and Leaving” entry.)
In 2005, she asked a huge favor of me. She was moving to Reno, and she asked me to drive her there in her truck pulling a Uhaul trailer. Since I was single, and had no specific plans for a vacation, I agreed.
That trip spawned some of my best writing ever. And the whole time we were on the road, I knew exactly what I was going to post when I got back to my little apartment in Bedford, Tx. It was an entry titled “Left and Leaving”, and all it entailed was a link to a song by the Weakerthans on YouTube.
I was a little bitter. Here she was making a huge leap in her life, yet I was stuck in my rut. She was a short drive from Tahoe, from mountains. I was looking at a medical complex in DFW from my balcony. She left her roots in Corsicana to start a new life in the Pacific Time Zone. I was 30 minutes away from my mom in my hometown, a simple phone call away from lifting bird seed out of her trunk for her.
I think that is when it all changed for me. When I became… What? Some call it reckless, I call it daring. I quit my job of 10 1/2 years in early 2006 and pursued my dream of being a writer. Didn’t work out for me, but who gives a shit? I tried. Have you?
Let’s jump to present day now.
I’ve been living in Austin since late 2007, but now thanks to some things beyond my control, I find myself back in my hometown. I plan on it being a temporary stay – maybe a month. This town has changed a lot since I last lived here. Mostly for the better. But one thing always strikes me: It’s like this town is a magnet for people who grew up here. Most people either never leave, or they come back after leaving for a while.
“I’m back with scars to show/Back where the streets I know/Will never take me anywhere but here”
I do not want to be one of those people. And I mean no offense when I type that, but it’s the truth. This world is too large, and there are too many possibilities to limit myself to these city limits. I’m working on getting stuff right in my life, things that will allow me to live wherever I want. Time will tell if my grand plan works out. In other words, in time we will know…
… who’s left and who’s leaving.