Friday, August 10, 2007

the loosing of ties that bind

You remember people moving away. There were kids who would move in the middle of the school year. One day you are teasing some poor kid with them, the next they are telling you about Kansas City. The ones who moved in the middle of the year always moved to a "City" of some kind. Then it was the kids who you had shared a couple of years of school with, and this would be the last June you saw them. They would say goodbye to third grade, the Antelope Valley, and you. Then the family would move. Grandparents, retiring from work and constant showering of you with affection, would hit the road. Aunts and Uncles would soon follow. The cousins of course would have to go, even if their parents hit them with belts, even if they promised to come back. Neighbors would come and go, a better job, a better house, a better neighborhood. Teachers you had hoped to have the next year would be gone before Independence Day. Soccer teammates would leave just as soon as you started to remember their older sister's name.

And that was life. Person after person, family after family, crush after crush, best friend after best friend would leave the Antelope Valley. And you? You stayed.

You got the keys to your house so you could come and go as you pleased while your parents did anything BUT parent. You would sneak drinks, or pills, or porn. You made plans to join the masses, to get out! You were never coming back once your feet or tires hit the asphalt. You categorized the things that made you happy, the things that made you sad, and the things that did nothing at all. You knew what was going in you backpack/trunk/cardboard box that would help you keep living. And you planned. You put maps on your walls. You put push pins in possible destinations for your wandering heart. You ranked all of your friends in order of likelihood to join you in a cross country bus trip to a strange town. Every girl you met, you would picture them standing with you next to some lake you had only heard about on television or read about in books, hoping the picture looked right. It would consume your every thought. And one day you did it. You got out.

You left at the end of one season, and were home before the next season was finished. You walked out of your front door for the last time and the leaves on the trees were still a magnificent green, and you were back before they left the branches.

Some of your friends had moved on. Some had stuck around. You would tell stories of the things you saw and the things you did, and no one knew if you were lying, but you didn't have to. You had been ALIVE for 3 months, and these poor suckers didn't change at all. The reasons you came back? Not important. You would tell anyone what they wanted to hear. It was a girl. It wasn't what you were looking for. Your roommate was a bastard. Your band was more important than whatever you were doing there. You didn't fit in.

But really you were scared. It wasn't as easy as all of these people had made it out to be. But, really, you weren't in their heads. You didn't know anything of the sleepless nights, the empty kisses, the warm drinks. You just knew they were gone and you would never see them again.

So you tried again. Or you tried to make plans to try again, but you didn't go anywhere. You told your girlfriend you were moving, and broke up with her, only to have to admit a month later that you weren't going anywhere and you still loved her. And that was life.

Till you tried to make plans again. And they fell through. And again. And again. And again.

You still lived here, but your address changed faster than you could, or wanted to, forward the mail. You made new friends, and you lost old ones. And then one day you made it happen. You left again, but this time not for good, just for a while. And you missed everyone you left behind, until it was time to come back. And you don't know if you wanted to. Not because this new place was anything special, but because where you were heading was nowhere special either.

But you showed up that afternoon. And nothing had changed. Hair was longer, or shorter. Friends missed you, or didn't. Your bed was warm, or it wasn't. But you lied in it. Your old routines became new routines. Your old fights became new fights. Your old life became your new life.

Until it wasn't your life anymore.

So you jump from a couch to a guest bed to a borrowed bed to your own bed. And you make new friends. And you meet new women. And every morning you wake up alone. And sometimes there is coffee. Sometimes there is breakfast. Sometimes there is nothing.

And here you are. Your almost 25. And your friends are hearing the same rumblings they have heard a thousand times before. Some new city. Some new plan. Some new life. And you understand if they don't believe you. And you understand if they think you are crazy. And you understand if they think you will fail. Because you have all those same thoughts every time you tell anyone what you want to do. You look into eyes of lovers and friends and strangers and hope to see some sort of encouragement, some sort of support. But it's not there, and you don't blame them. You won't hold it against them, because you'll probably need their couch in a few months anyways.

11 comments:

Dan said...

You're very good you know Anthony.

Anonymous said...

The birthday boy cometh to say that I look forward to games at Soldier Field, very much.

Island Girl said...

Blog friends most likely to one day visit the Antelope Valley:

1. Island Girl

Blog friends most likely to one day join you on a bus to nowhere, who knows where, who knows when:

1. Island Girl

Blog friends who believe that you, Anthony, can do anything you put your mind to:

1. Island Girl

Whit said...

Dude, get the fuck out. You know I'm a supporter of any bus leaving town.

I find myself standing in my yard and seeing in every direction someplace else I would rather be. I want you to seize the day and all that.

Don't forget to return Tricia's Goonies before you skip out.

Anonymous said...

You're always so heartfelt, even when you use your sarcasm so deftly.
Sometimes we have to leave to find that we are still alive and worthy. And most times coming back isn't failure, it is returning to the love that awaits you. It isn't always better elsewhere, and adventures can be painful. But the real sadness lies in not taking the journey.

Hilly said...

It took me 5 tries to get out of my hometown...I kept coming back. The fifth one stuck and I could not be happier so go and try...even if you don't succeed, there is next time until next times run out.

Quirkee James said...

Great post! Thanks for visiting my blog.

You should really post some of your blog over on Quirkee.com. Our readers would love it.

See you at the Super Bowl!

Quirkee James

ImPerceptible said...

Where do it start? I'll start by changing the last sentence.

I won't hold it against them because soon I will realize that there were a lot of people that had a great deal of faith in me and it's great to have friends sleeping on my couch.

Henri said...

The wickedness of youth is the nagging suspicion that your invulnerability might only be bravado. But after a few years you realize holy shit, you really were invulnerable weren't you? Yeah dude, you really are. You got a good ten years to race with the hounds. So go man, fucking run with the hounds.

But maybe take the Goonies with you...umm shits and giggles and all that.

bobb said...

i love you, man. in a completely gay way.

patty said...

Oh, the wickedness of youth. youth. You are so enjoyable. Too bad. Don't think, just do. It seems to be what makes you...you.