I know I have been away a while but with the holidays and my impending graduation, it is getting a little stressful and hard pressed for time. I am so glad to be writing again though, you have no idea! I hope all of my American friends had a good Thanksgiving and to those across the pond, I hope you enjoyed a turkey sandwich last Thursday!
I love going home. I went home for Thanksgiving this year and it was nice and quiet. My mother was making some candied yams when I got home and it felt like I was ten years old again. She cooked while I lay on the floor and play with my mother’s Shih Tzu named Sofie. I love going home because I love the sense of being connected to a place. I am talking more abstract than my mothers house. That city is the place where I had my first kiss and went to school. Where I learned to drive and even got into a little bit of trouble here and there.
There is one particular place that means the most to me though. I used to be really into comic books and superheroes, I still am…I decided to drop the comic habit because those bad boys got a bit expensive but there was one part of the Superman mythology that I kept with me long after the comics left my hands. Superman flies all over the world and helps people but even he needs a break. So, he flies up to this fortress that is in the middle of nowhere. There, he is able to gather his thoughts and be among the last remnants of his home planet and the memory of his father. What is paramount to me is the symbolism of this place. A man who saves the world must seek peace in the essence of nothingness. That is what I enjoy, the idea that to really understand yourself and understand life around you, you have to be able to have a place where it is just you. Mentally and physically.
There is a place that I know. It is a very lovely place. It is on the bank of the lake that feeds the city it’s water and electricity. The lake where people pay millions to live. I have a place there that no one knows about. My own fortress of solitude. I go there whenever I am home. I park alongside this road and wander into the forest. I know I am getting close because as I walk I come to an opening Where the trees are far apart but their limbs come together in the air, making it seem like a long tunnel. After I go through the tree tunnel it opens up into a small open area that leads to the shore. Now, most of the shore is covered in trees or rocks block it but here, in my spot, there is a small amount of space open where I sit on the ground, my legs hang over the side of the edge and dangle above the rocks.
My fortress of solitude: founded in 1993 when I went fishing for the first time in that very spot. I went back more times I can count. As a teen, me and my friends would go there to mess around and smoke cigars, feigning being cool adults as we winced when smoke got in our eyes. (I would always wince but play it off like I was winking, so…cool…)
Now, I sit there remembering the past and thinking about my uncertain future; all while enjoying my present. I used to do that I should say. I used to think and make up stories in my head that i would write about. My first screenplay came about because I was sitting there thinking where me and the guys would be ten years from then. It has almost been ten years since that and I wasn’t even close but hey, I like the now I am in better than the now I perceived.
The day after Thanksgiving i went back there and I was shocked. I saw nothing familiar. They cut down the trees and cleared the area out so there is nothing but open space. No, there was one thing familiar, the tunnel was there but irrelevant as everything was open. I walked down to where I normally sat only to find they had added tons of rocks and a large brown sign saying when the park closes and that there was no swimming. I don’t feel sad though. I feel hurt that that part of me is gone, those memories are not there anymore. It feel like they have been violated. I don’t feel sad because as much as my fortress had changed, so had I. I live in another place and I find other ways to reach solitude. We changed and we have our own memories. I had the memories of being there and it had the memories of decades. I remember the first time I knew it wasn’t as special as I’d though was right before I move I found a rock that said “DM (heart) LK”.
I miss my fortress of solitude and the place I remember so fondly but I know if I really need it I can close my eyes and remember the light peaking from behind those large green trees and the sound of the water as it hit the rocks below my feet. I can remember the years my life spanned as I visited there. the young me and the teenage me and myself now all cohabiting in our favorite place.
I have a place now but home became a little less home.
Hope you have your own fortress!
So, I went to Chicago a couple weeks ago and we went to Wicker Park. It was amazing and we went to a book store and an amazing record store (I love vinyl!!!). It was easily one of the best solo trips I had ever taken. I hadn’t seen my friend Nicole in a while so I visited. Let me just say that it is a longgggg train ride! So, I listen to music on the way there.
Well, my headphones were messing up, pretty nice studio type ones. I decided that it would be in my best interest to get another pair in case they crapped out. I got a cheap ten dollar pair at Walgreen’s. I bid my friend farewell and went down to Union Station. I went to the restroom to go pee. Now, I had a bag of records, my Ipod, a bag of headphones, was eating a blue raspberry sucker and trying to pee at once. As I was peeing, my headphones, the nice one’s that were messing up, slid out of my bag and into the toilet. Yes, I peed on my headphones….I flushed and used toilet paper to get them out then hung them on the back of the toilet. I know it’s gross but maybe someone will be able to get the germs off and fix them! It’s like a good deed wrapped in a gross package, right?!
Hope that made you cringe or smile or both!
Here are some more that I took but of the city,and not of pee headphones (peedphones?)