March 18, 2009

“Can we take a ride?

Get out of this place while we still have time…”

~ “Work” by Jimmy Eat World

It’s a weird feeling, going home and then coming back to school again.  Two worlds collide with two very different parts of me.  The ghost of the girl I was in high school is there, still nudging me to make sure I get the hell out of this town.  The girl I am now is less worried about that, faced by bittersweet memories at every turn.  She hears a short sharp echo of laughter whenever she walks by her elementary school’s playground.  For just a moment she is six again, running around and yelling and trying not to get splinters.  She walks by the Starbucks where she and her friends spent countless high school nights talking until they got kicked out at 11.  She wanders down to the ocean and watches it shift with restless purpose, patient, enduring.  She doesn’t fit here and she knows it.  She moved on, while it moved on without her.  Still she has left a piece of herself here that she has to come and revisit.  She doesn’t know where it is, exactly, but if she stands in just the right place sometimes she can feel it.  This place has shaped her, and for all the grooves she has worn in it with her frustrated pacing, she loves it.

Sometimes she wants to hide in that former life, thinking it safer than the precepice of real world on which she soon will stand.  But under all of the fears she knows something.  She would rather have her uncertain and terrifying independence than try to cling to her childhood home.  She would never forgive herself for being afraid to venture beyond what she knows is safe.  She would much rather crash and burn than be good friends with her bedroom wall.  So she distances herself.  She shuts out the echoes of laughter from the playground and won’t put a toe in the doorway of that Starbucks.  She talks too loud and too long about her life in college, shutting out the raucous murmur of the things she did before.  For once she has to jump first and ask questions second.

She also knows these are grand words for a girl who can find ten million things to be afraid of.  But maybe, just maybe, saying them will dare her to try.

*Oddly enough reading the lyrics makes this song sound like an argument for sex.  Which is very much not what I was on about.


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