Friday, December 17, 2010
The Closest Thing to Home
Those of you who've come to know me during the last two and a half years will already recognize that I attribute great importance to milestones.
Every man, in my view, is built by his past, and he who acknowledges that instead of fighting it can have a better understanding of who--and why--he is.
That's the line I try to walk: drawing on the past without being drawn into it, understanding its significance but only through the context of the ever-important present.
December 17th has unique importance for my family.
It was five years ago today, on December 17, 2005, that we moved to Mountain Town from Rich Town.
Then, as now, the roads were covered in snow and the air stung with cold. Then, as now, I took issue with my parents on many counts; that Saturday evening was, in fact, punctuated by an tumultuous argument between my mother, my Aunt Lesbian, and me.
A few examples notwithstanding, though, very little seems to be the same.
Five years ago I was seventeen and Powell just turned sixteen five days prior (his birthday is December 12th). Teenagers then, we've both been out of high school for years now and have taken very different paths: I should have graduated in May but an opportunity with a major record label, among other things, interfered to keep me in school; he's been through rehab, bounced from job to job, and made a few abortive attempts at community college before deciding higher education wasn't for him.
Thomas was ten years old five years ago, but a child and scarcely older than Pie is now. Today he's stepped into being a teenager and everything that comes with it: dating, thoughts of sex, experiments with drinking and marijuana, dreams of rock stardom, and the first ambitions to attend university.
Pie, only two years old in 2005, is now a strong-willed and rambunctious seven-year-old girl. A toddler when we arrived here, Mountain Town is the only reality she's ever known.
I've become better, smarter, and infinitely more self-confident, the consequence of a social flowering experienced at college. If anything my relationship with my parents has grown more fractious, but that is the result of my growing assertions for basic fairness and respect, and so in a way is a good thing.
I've spent five years here now, and I know I won't remain here five years more. It's interesting, and a bit terrifying, to think of where I'll be in a half a decade's time.
Below you will find my diary entry for December 19, 2005. I was halfway through twelfth grade and had moved to Mountain Town only two days earlier.
December 19, 2005
Of the five transitions I've gone through in the last four years, Saturday's was by far the worst.
In the days leading up to our move, our parents allocated us one full week in which to pack. In practice, however, we had much less time to gather our things; after seven hours of school and a full night of homework, there was perhaps one half hour left before we went to bed, and no one wanted to spend it sorting through piles of clothes and such.
Then, on the night before the move, I was home just long enough to fill a single tote before Mom made me go to the store with her. We came back to the house, stayed there for about five minutes, and then went off to Mountain Town for some last-minute unloading.
Oh, that's right; Mom and Dad decided that, to save money, we would move most of our things, leaving only the "really big stuff" for the movers. The result was a laborious few days spent lugging endless totes, prolifically heavy boxes, a good deal of our own furniture, and even Betsy (Dad's motorcycle).
I can't tell you what fun it all was, getting up in the early morning to drag as many things as possible into our trailer, driving to Mountain Town on roads of pure ice, unloading the objects in frigid winter air, and then returning to Rich Town after several burdensome hours to start the process over again.
Really, just peachy.
We moved in on the 17th of December, and then began the tiresome task of digging through all of the boxes for our possessions. My stereo and computer, initially displaced, were located within a day of our relocation, but the green binder containing both my English and Physics classes remained unaccounted for.
Obviously, this caused me great distress, and I was adamant that it must be found.
Dad, thinking perhaps he had seen it in a pile of trash in Rich Town, asked Aunt Lesbian to check. She dug through our garbage and found a purple binder that I'd intentionally thrown away.
The mere act, however, made me feel inclined to view Aunt Lesbian in a much more positive light than I had before. This more amicable attitude towards my aunt was dissolved literally within minutes.
Frantic over the lost binder, I tried to get Mom to tell me the day and time at which the trashmen would come.
After answering a single question, she told me she'd "had enough."
When I tried to ask a second question, she went into a fit of screeches.
"Answer my question!" I yelled over her screams, at which point she exclaimed, "Fuck you, BB!"
Furious, I stalked into the kitchen, where Aunt Lesbian eyed me sharply and said in a dangerous tone, "Don't you talk to my sister that way."
I was already emotionally charged by the whole experience of the move and angry at Aunt Lesbian for earlier rudeness in the weekend, and so I said the first thing that popped into my head: "Shut up and mind your own damn business."
It was as if an atomic bomb had gone off in our kitchen.
The next thing I knew, my mother, Aunt Lesbian, and I were facing off in an explosive three-way screaming match that shook the polished countertops and sent Pie into hysterics.
Tomorrow I'll find out if I got into Major University!!!