I left Portland as soon as my Doctor would let me, maybe a day early. My Mom and I packed in the little GLC and drove South, through California. Visited my Gran, saw things I hadn't seen since I was in single digits. Got back to NC after a road trip filled with trunks flying open and cassettes of Michael Jackson telling me about the Man In The Mirror. It was a long drive, for millions of reasons.
I spent a few weeks mourning in my parents home. I really don't remember a lot of that time, anger, sadness, confusion, and a couple dashes of depression. But that's always been there, so it brushed it under. Threw away the prescription for prozac and pushed on. I got an apartment with my brother and went back to work. Temping at the Medical School in town and continued doing the church thing they made me go back to in Portland.
After a year, I had become bored. My parents had moved to Tennessee and my brother had gone of to Idaho. I sold everything. The GLC, everything and moved to Salt Lake City. I was so ready to move on that I didn't have a job, I had only talked to my new roommate on the phone and didn't have a car. I was going to bus it and announce I was going to have Thanksgiving dinner with my imaginary fiance's family within 10 months. If I had a nickel for every time I have been oblivious in my life.
I continued with Church Life there for a few months and grew to hate that city so much, it's lack of diversity and Satan's spawn falling from the sky and never melting, I went back to Marlboro Town. Oh, my roommates LOVED that. I lasted in that hell hole for only a year.
Wells was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis and I offered to move to New Jersey to help The Clarks. So, I had to quit smoking, again. For someone else. If I had a nickel for every time I've changed my life for someone else. But I cannot tell you how much I loved it there. NJ has secrets. It is beautiful where it wants to be, and where it doesn't, it leads you to the Emerald City. I found parts of myself in NYC. Broadway shows, Central Park, Chrysler Building. It brought me to tears.
I worked EVERY day. Very rarely were there weeks that I had a full day off, but I wouldn't have changed a thing. I got to see Cape Cod. I traveled to the Coast of NC. I saw Vermont. Not a thing. I fell in love with some amazing people. I think those little ones healed my heart. Filled holes left by those two I couldn't hold on to. Allowed me to see life as it should be, the life I knew I was unable to reach.
Sadly, they got older, started going to school and not needing me. So I packed up the car and saw him chase me down the street. Never in my life, he begged me to stay and I wish I could have. He was an angel who brought light I had never known. Sparta had turned in to a snow globe where I felt safe, but I was being pulled away, being anchored in safety does not allow growth.
I didn't know what I was getting in to when I landed in Jacksonville. No, not Florida, I wasn't that lucky. Jacksonville, NC - the armpit of the Crystal Coast. I lived in a condo by myself for the first year. I worked so much I hardly even noticed. But once I started to realize the devil I was working for, I started to need some outside clarity. I found a roommate in the newspaper and moved in to what felt like The Foursome all over again. It took a little while to hit our stride, but we had so much fun. I found the best friend I had ever known. I did things I knew I shouldn't, people whose names I couldn't remember, drinks that were taller than me, and smoked like a friggin freight train. It was like I was 21 all over again.
But then, oh then, it all fell apart. The Goat was gone, I was losing my brother to bottles of whiskey, the Black Hole was eating me alive. I ran as fast as I could and hid, again, at my parents. Guess who was back, our lovely friend depression. For almost a year, I lived on the pull out bed in my parents house. If I had a nickel for every time I shouldn't have lived with my parents. Our relationship is so much better when we are apart.
So, I moved, again. Should we count how many times I have moved? One sec, I'll be back.....ok, I've got 9 times in 13 years. Lovely. I'm in Durham now, in the middle of counting more nickels. In the middle of realizing a lot of things about my life. Forks in the road that damaged me more than I could have known. Our friend has planted himself deep inside of me. I'm afraid to get rid of him, he is all I've ever known. Who will I be without him? I hope he leaves as soon as possible.
I have missed having touchstones in my life. I would love to find them, but they seem uncomfortable. At least I know The Goat will always be there.