Wednesday, November 5, 2014

11.5 - NaNoWriMo


I've been living in Trenton, Ohio for 5 months now. Trenton is the town I grew up in. An example: I live right around the corner from the parents of the guy I dated when I was sixteen years old. I spent many high school summer days there, and is it weird? I guess. It's strange because I've been gone long enough to make it so. It is strange to go driving and run into so many memories. It is strange because I am a writer who believes in the ghost of things, at least in mind(or on page). Coming back answered some questions, I guess.

I moved away 15 years ago, and some things are very much the same. You'll always see someone sporting camouflage at the gas station. You've still got your good ol' boys in their pick up trucks, their ball cap brims curved to cup their faces. The soybean and corn fields are still there. Well, most of them. Some have been sold and swallowed up by stock footage houses. It is still a small town, though she may burst at some seams.

In sixth grade I took a horrific spill on my bike--bad enough to make me avoid riding on two wheels for 5-ish years. The scene of the accident was a dentist's parking lot. I drove by this lot yesterday and imagined a little me, limping home with my bent steed. Memory is everywhere. My hippocampus is lit like brushfire.

This summer I ran into 4 former classmates within the span of 24 hours. That was a little wild, watching myths of others go up in smoke or shrink drastically--all those maybe-futures I imagined turning real or dissipating. I remember being young and hearing my dad talk about old classmates--we'd drive through his old stomping ground and he'd point out where the store used to be, or at a busy park that once was just a field. I get that now. I catch myself doing it. I recall those times I felt confined by my environment. I'd go driving because driving always felt like freedom. Now I navigate those same roads and feel miles of things. I'm much more free, much more filled. Yet I still feel protective when I think of that young me, still in there and fidgeting.

There is a bit of comfort in being back, though it is an unusual transitional period of my life. I wouldn't expect anything less for this year--2014 has been the pendulum's brutal swing, both extremes and in-betweens. Big things. I go back to the break in my lifeline on my right palm and nod. The break, the space, the leap with no net below. It's an appropriate time to practice surviving.

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