Tuesday, May 10, 2011

finally home .

Back to the crazy driving. Back to the obscene amounts of traffic. Back to a home that no longer feels like home, and meals with a family instead of close friends. Back to a job that has varying hours, but at least good pay. Back to a break that seems to slip away faster each year, and days that are spent wasting my life away. Back to northern weather, and long lonely nights watching the waves. Back to silent summer nights with naught but the sound of traffic from the neighboring road. Back to the lightning bugs, and the mosquitoes, and a lawn that lies far from perfect. Back to a list of household chores, and unending household projects.

Back, to summer.

What is it about going "home" that makes it all feel so weird. I like Jersey, a lot more than I used to, and I'm proud to be a native, but it feels both strange and like a sigh of relief at the same time when I come back for summers. Maybe part of that is because I always apply to other jobs that are in various places around the country, hoping that I'll be able to try something new during the summer. It takes a while to settle back in. To begin to remember even how to drive around town, and where things are.

Still, I will never begin to understand where friends were lost in the process. A great many seem to have immediately disappeared ever since the end of high school. People you thought you knew were gone. You were on your own, truly. I think I'm stronger now. I don't see anyone I know really during the summer, and there are a very select 1 or 2 that I make a point of hanging out with. Other than that, I keep to myself and in a way, hope I don't run into anyone.

In some ways I hate coming home; I hate seeing the luxury and the overwhelming signs of money. The mansions, the expensive cars, and even the clothes and the jewelry on people. I've spent the majority of my life in a place where parents spoil their unappreciative kids, and these people, they're fake, they're all fake. And sometimes I just want to get out and when I'm at that point where I almost can't stand it -- I take a break. Spend some time alone. And then I can come back and keep going with it. But it's inescapable. And unfortunately one of the most defining things of my town -- Josh can tell you that, from when he was here for Spring Break.

I don't know where those people will end up, but I know that a great many stayed close to home. They didn't change their friends from high school, only expanded upon them. Sometimes when I think of home I get angry at the sheltered life I lived, how I was not exposed to anything until it all hit me like a train in the face. Where you come from is a big deal, and it may affect who you are and what you become -- but I refuse to let it define me.

While I'm glad to be home, it disgusts me to see the way these people live, ignorant and selfish, apathetic and unaware. And while you pass thousands of cars on the road, and encounter many more people while you're out, it would be as if walking through a ghost town had you counted the ones the really mattered.

And so my 20th summer begins.

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