(no subject)
(the second person is used in order to convey a fictionalized reticence) 

When I was in the first grade, I decided to become an architect once I grew up.  The certainty of this decision was a light that guided me through all the potentially hazardous turning points most people encounter throughout adolescence.  It wasn't just that I wanted to be "good" and thus avoid problematic behavior, but more so, there was a true fear that any one potential misstep would derail my entire life.  I missed out on adolescence to at least some extent because I was driven by my will to succeed in getting accepted into a decent architecture program.  And I did.  And then I had a nervous breakdown, came close to ending everything, and dropped out of school.  

Looking back, it seems clear that all the years of never questioning my future made life easy; I wasn't afraid of anything because I knew what I wanted.  Conversely, I was afraid of everything, because of what I had riding on that decision.  I was terrified of not making it, or worse, of mediocrity.  Did I sabotage my own life for some yet-still-unknowable reason by dropping out?  Why would I do something like that?  

I wanted something more than what my future promised, and I was becoming aware of it by the time I was 16, but at that point it was still so murky, or muddled to see through and make any kind of real sense of.  

There's a feeling I have that I'll most likely spend my life trying to show.  It was something I would find at times when I walked around the Josephinum college as a teenager, taking black and white pictures.  Or what late fall was like, especially outside of the city, when the sky was dark, it would rain, and was turning quite cool.  Or it was in old buildings at the Ohio State fairgrounds that had been used for livestock and produce for a century, and it was how the sun looked in late August, and all the corn.  

It's the corn, the flat fields, the winter, old industrial and commercial buildings with rusted steel casement windows, and the way the sun looks as it's setting in cold air.  It's drinking hot coffee out of an old mug at nine pm, and listening to obscure Prokofiev violin sonatas on an old record player late into the night.  Then rising early, way before sunrise, the following morning, because you have a solid work ethic and there is a new day. 

For being cold and reserved, there's a strong, passionate current that flows, constantly, beneath the surface of most of these people.  It's potentially violent, and can erupt at curious, seemingly random moments, yet is quickly swept up again, left by the door, left to be unseen.  No one is without feeling, but the discretion and the caution that feelings are met with is not something to be interpreted in any less-than-serious way.  There is no laid-back atmosphere of just letting things by.  

But the passion and intensity is beautiful.  In dark months, when there is black, dirt-colored snow caked-up on the corners of every street, a feeling of warmth, or energy is always present to everyone.  But life becomes so isolating or claustrophobic that it seems like this moment, now, is the only one you'll ever see and there is no way to escape it.  Your friends may go to Florida to find sanity during the winter, but to you that's "cheating" and it's tacky anyway.  The better vacationers side-step Florida completely and head out west to California, which is what I did, many times, to the point where I associate San Francisco with a second childhood- one that was a lot nicer than the actual one that existed.  I had other friends who also took weekend trips to San Francisco and I would find myself wondering why they returned at all, or why I did.  But you always return, until one day you leave for real and there is no returning any longer.  

Maybe it's unjustified, but I have a tremendous feeling of guilt and longing for this time.  I had no reason to stay, no one in my family did.  But now that I have no reason to go back, it feels more painful to reflect on.  At some point when I was 16, I decided that I wanted to leave, I didn't care where I ended up, just anywhere else.  

(no subject)
this's totally irellevant... but the new Beck album so rocks!!!!! everybody needs to get it now! Wow, especially Farewell Ride (track 11) at least get that song.


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