This is the place:
My home town is a peculiar place. Mount Logan to the east, the Wellsvilles to the west… you always know where you are. Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter, our buildings shape us”. Though our forbearers hardly shaped these majestic peaks, they did choose to become boxed in by them. One has to wonder how the mountains mold the malleable minds of men who live here. The businesses here are Run by people who grew up here, whose parents grew up here whose parents grew up here whose parents grew up here whose parents grew up here whose parents grew up here whose parents…
Heathens, visitors, and boxes:
On a sunday morning, only 2 cafes will serve me breakfast. One is full of lapsed mormons who seem to revel in the fact that they are not at church. This group is so concerned with “the box”… that one with the steeple that they are absent from… they seem to go to a certain effort to make sure people know that they are outside of “the box”. The cafe is frequented by another class of non-believers: university professors. They have been imported, and sometimes seem befuddled at the presence of this box and all the fuss it receives.
Gravity of memory:
This town is full of ghosts. As I write this, I remember something about the table I’m sitting at. I once sat in this very space, and sipped iced tea with the love of my life – the girl I gave my whole heart to, only to have it broken. In this same spot, on several occasions, I sat with my laptop working on college papers – at times, painfully unaware of the futility of that pursuit.
Roads of ruin:
There are only so many roads in this town, and they are all veneered with memories. I can’t go anywhere without traveling the path I took on my way to propose to my future ex wife. I remember driving to the drive-through with my mom, dad, brother and sister… the unique excitement of a hamburger, french fries, orange soda and a toy, all housed in a cardboard box of joy. I drive on the street I worked on when my grandmother died. I traverse the road I took home the night I lost my job. I drive past the office I entered to have my have our divorce papers notarized.
100 south… I could write volumes about this simple street. This is the street I grew up on. The church of my upbringing is on this street. My highschool is on this street. The studio I was photographically born in – is on this street. The highschool auditorium that hosted so many of my performances, is on this street. I walked this street hand in hand with love… and spent many nights running it when love had left me. This is where I came when my family was torn from me. This street houses the altar at which I sacrificed all I had in the name of God… and here, my cross was crudely constructed…even after paying “the uttermost farthing”, I was beaten, broken, and left bleeding my most humble state of desperation. This street also is the place where the stone was put in place – the stone that would one day be moved from the cavernous tomb of my consciousness, letting the light of day in, and my consciousness, out, to live again… I wonder if, IF die… I will haunt this street as a forlorn ghost.
It’s no wonder that people die. This tiny town is compacted with memories… which become tales, sad stories of what might have been. It’s hard to not feel my age when I’m here. In a place that constantly reminds you of how old you are, it’s no surprise that one grows old.
My new home is far from my family. It is also far from the sedimentary layers of sadness that are my home town. It is a place of change, a million people and a million-and-one opportunities. A longing heart, I suppose, is the price I pay to walk streets that are paved with possibility.