Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dear Home

When I was in elementary school, we were supposed to read a short story by Edward Everett Hale called "The Man Without A Country".  I'm sure it was a very poignant story that would have applications to my letter today, but I don't think I read it.  I probably reread Summer of the Monkeys or Homer Price and the Doughnuts, because monkeys and doughnuts, obviously.  Now, fickle irony has made my life somewhat mirror the story.  I don't particularly belong. 

I was born and lived for a few years outside of Philadelphia.  This informed all of my sports interested, colloquialisms, and food interests.  I put jimmies on my soft serve, and I eat hoagies.  Subs go in water, and sprinkles are what clowns use to drug people before they murder them.  I moved away when I was young, though, and I don't fit in there.  I don't know my way around, and I don't have the shared experience my cousins have that grew up around there.  

After that, I moved to Delaware.  My house was in a development, and placed right in front of the entrance to another development.  The cliques were so bad that we were shunned just because we were too close to the "cool" development for the likes of our neighbors, yet not within the gates of it, so not one of the cool kids.  They all seemed to forget the fact that we were all living in Delaware, and should thank whatever chicken based deity Frank Perdue had conjured from Hell that we didn't go numb from the sheer absurity that Delaware is a thing, and that people can live there.  Only those that have lived in Delaware can truly understand that last sentence.  One of my little league coaches seriously used to drink in the parking lots during games, and several of my games were broadcast on the radio, because that was something people in Delaware wanted to listen to.  I have cassette tape recordings to prove this, and as the kid who looked 25 compared to the other 12 year olds, playing catcher and located right near the press box, I was the subject of their ridicule through much of the games.  I believe the term "runs like a bear" was used at least twice.

My adopted home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland has a name for people like me.  We are "Come Heres".  We weren't born here, so we will never be from here.  It's the locals way of keeping the outside world at a distance, stopping just short of squinting and muttering "You ain't my kin", then spitting while a old dog growls lazily at you.  

The major problem is, I am not fully comfortable anywhere.  I like the laid back lifestyle where I am now.  I like working in my garden, and rarely dealing with traffic.  I hate, however, having to drive an hour to get to a decent brick and mortar place to buy dress clothes, or a really good restaurant that isn't a chain.  I feel like I am missing out on a bigger life when I see the Facebook status updates of big nights in the city every weekend. 

When I visit a big city, like DC, I love that I can walk most places and within blocks, there is more stimuli than I can comprehend in three days.  The Metro is almost better than Splash Mountain for me.  People look at me like I escaped the short bus when I am grinning as the train rolls along underground.  In my heart though, I know I would grow very very tired of all the people around if I lived there.  I can barely stand the low population density where I am, so I might go Chernobyl anyplace where the idiots are stacked up like cord wood. 

Maybe, in the end, all that matters is that you are around people that you care about.  Or maybe you just need a good movie theater and a decent place to get a pizza pie.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

I appreciate your comments. I appreciate them even more if you sign in or let me know who you are. Otherwise I get paranoid trying to figure out who you are, and that ends up with me having to watch The Sandlot to calm myself down.