(A Random Post)

The Leaving

California – Phantom Planet

Yes, I know that I went to Massachusetts last week and not California, but I can’t get this damn song out of my head since Max was out my house a few days ago and we were watching an O.C. rerun. So there. Now let’s see if I can give you a reasonably short recap of my journey.

Day 1

The first long road that we found ourselves on was called Ridge Way. It was quaint, to say the least. Kind of like Main Street Markham, but for over a hundred kilometres. We passed through a few places, including Clarkson and Albany. I mention Clarkson because I noticed they had a veterinarian there and since it was an agricultural town with a population of about six hundred, I figured that he/she probably saw more business than other members of that particular medical community. He’s probably like House, having to find out why the sheep aren’t breeding or why some dude’s horse has turned inside out. The other doctors are stuck with deciding how to best remove a ping pong ball from some moron’s throat. I would suggest a tracheotomy.

I mention Albany because, well, someone should. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of one significant thing about Albany. Landmarks, famous people, natural disasters…I got nothing.

I also had my first highway driving experience, which was fun except for the fact that my mother was in the back hyperventilating and praying to whatever God she believes in to protect us from what she perceived to be an inevitable accident with me at the wheel. That was distracting. In all fairness to her, I did almost fall asleep while driving so it’s good that we were covered with The Big Guy for that particular stretch of the road.

Day 2

I regret falling asleep while we were passing through Vermont. If you’ve never been on a Vermont highway, it’s nothing but rolling hills and trees graced with beautiful, autumnal colours. It goes without saying that Massachusetts in the fall is absolutely gorgeous. I never got tired of it.

We visited my Uncle Oscar and my Aunt Jessica. Considering that Uncle Oscar had recently undergone major life saving surgery, he looked pretty good. Thankfully, my parents didn’t force me to sit and watch them share stories and I was allowed to wander over to the living room and watch football. That was nice. I did get to see them chat during dinner and at one point my mother asked if his surgery was done by an Indian man because “Indian people have no feelings” according to her. That is classic racist mom right there.

Later, we went on a walk through a cemetary, which she had been looking forward to for a while.

Day 3

The return to Avon, where I lived as a wee one. Let it first be said that in Avon, you can find a Dunkin’ Donuts, an auto shop, a cemetary and a bowling alley on every corner. That’s what life is all about there. We stopped by the old house and were fortunate to catch the latest owner as she was stepping out to get something from her car. I’ll say this about my parents, they never hesitate to address a stranger. She was accomodating and not at all scared, so that was good. My old house looks really small now.

Later, we visited an old friend of my folks who was now working at a jewelry store at this lovely strip mall. She divorced her husband some years back and my parents were telling me how unhappy she was back then. It was a sunny day and when she saw my parents she looked genuinely ecstatic. They spoke for five or ten minutes and it was obvious that she had moved on with her life and seemed to have found peace. It was a cool moment and I’m glad we stopped by. I knew something positive could come out of this trip.

I did not manage to track down my childhood crush Maura Davenport unfortunately, as we were told that she was likely away at school. My life was not meant for such dramas. I learned that a long time ago.

We also stopped off at a beach in Cape Cod and my father mused on the ecology of the seagull. He talked about how their lives were so repetitive and ultimately meaningless. They just eat and sleep and fly around. I thought that was a charming, if somewhat cryptic way of looking at things and let him know that I found that lifestyle to be appealing.

Day 4

Ah, Newport, the rich part of Massachusetts. We’d visited some pretty skeevy locations up to this point, but Newport was right up my alley. We walked through the backyard of this one mansion and I imagined all the cocktail parties and orgies that must regularly occur here. I let my mother know that I found that lifestyle to be appealing. There was also a ritzy university up there whose name escapes me, but seemed chock full of young, wealthy, impressionable ladies. My youth is being wasted. The best part was this long path by the shore that you could walk along for hours. My mother and I walked for a while as my dad stayed in the car listening to an audiobook. We found this odd looking tree that seemed to grow horizontally as opposed to vertically that my mother says I took a picture with when I was younger. I lay down on it and told her to go on without me and come get me on the way back. I stayed there listening to the music, staring up at the sky and branches for about a half hour. They should have left me there.

That night we ate at this sandwich shop called “Pie In The Sky”. There were these three teenagers working there and they seemed to know the names of most of the customers and my mind again began to fill with thoughts of a squandered youth. I want to live in that small town and eat at the same sandwich place every day and fall in love with a marine biologist.

Day 5

Somewhere in between getting on to the boat to Martha’s Vineyard and my father calling me an asshole for making him and my mother worry about me I wrote this:

I gave you my best and it wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t nearly good enough. And I swear that I never hurt you or let you down intentionally like some of the other assholes you’ve been with.

All I wanted was a fraction of the care and affection that you gave them. I didn’t need it, but I wanted it so badly. Now I don’t know what I want. Mostly, I want to tell you off. Make you feel bad. But that kind of talk never helped anyone. A small part of me thinks that there is hope for us as friends, but I have no idea how we can reconcile. It’s funny, you always ask me “What do you want me to say?” when we have any disagreements. I honestly cannot answer that question.

I know it was my decision for us not to hang out anymore (as you reminded me). But I only said that because you weren’t treating me with any respect. All I wanted to know was why we couldn’t be a couple and, coward that you are, you were left speechless. Now we haven’t spoken for months and, as the saying goes, the silence has spoken volumes.

“I just don’t feel that way about you” is not an adult response. What am I supposed to do with that? You couldn’t be real with me for one second and that, more than anything, explains why we’ve fallen apart.

I’ve gone out of my way not to talk about her on this blog and that is essentially what remains of what I’d planned to be this enormous, multi-post that I will, in all likelihood, still end up publishing. For now, that’s enough and I feel much better having put that out there. I won’t mention it again.

Day 6

The long drive home. My second highway stint was much safer. Since there isn’t much to say about this last day, let me express why I would rather have not gone on this trip. For one thing, I didn’t need to go on a vacation. As I’ve said before, my life is a vacation. What am I getting away from? The one thing I would like to get away from is my parents, God bless them, but they were with me step for step this entire trip. Well, they did let me wander off a couple of times but that leads me to my second problem. I am alone. There’s no way of getting around that. Yes, I have friends. Yes, I have family. But until I meet that person with whom I can share these wonderful experiences with, I am alone.

Shuffling through piles of leaves. Strolling along a beach in Cape Cod. Admiring the artists of Province Town. Walking the freshly cut grass of Newport. Taking in the sea air of Martha’s Vineyard.

I love my parents, I truly do, but as long as they are looking over my shoulder these experiences seem…insubstantial. Every situation is controlled, supervised, safe. I like being safe, but it was too much. There was never that feeling that anything could happen because it couldn’t. There were these awful situations where I didn’t feel like, say, bike riding for example and because I didn’t want to I felt like my parents held themselves back from doing that. I only went on this trip because they wanted me to go! Moments like that were miserable.

I’m grateful that they took care of me on this trip. It was excellent. I only wish I actually had someone to share it with. I can’t stand keeping my perfect little world to myself anymore.

*****

Baseball announcer Joe Buck was on Late Night With Conan O’Brien a few weeks ago and Conan made a wager with him. He said that he was always trying to insert the word “jub jub” into whatever he was working on and if Buck managed to fit in jub jub during a broadcast of the World Series, he would donate $1000 to a charity of Buck’s choice. The results were less than epic. Conan would later say that he wanted him to say it during an important moment in the game, like if someone hit a home run he should have said “It’s going…going…it’s a JUB JUB!” He is currently trying to get Charles Barkley to say it next.

Raptors Mop Girl update: It was either Max or William who clued me into the fact that Maclean’s featured an article about everyone’s favourite Air Canada Centre employee. This is proof that I’m not a creep for finding her MySpace page months ago, right? There is also an article about the article.

And finally, your post-post treat: An Auburn High School Cheerleader gets trampled by the football team. She didn’t suffer any serious injuries, so you may begin laughing, free of guilt. And William, you can just continue laughing.

Okay, so where are the bad guys and what do we do?
Why do you hesitate each time? This man Jordan, the one who wore the ring before you…Why does he overshadow all of your thoughts and actions?
What? What does this have to do with anything? I was just think about…What is this about Hal?
You will surpass him. You already know what he could never learn.
Sh’yeah! Hal Jordan was the best. Everybody knows that. Everybody keeps telling me that, no matter what I do…I met him; the guy was a star. What could I possibly know that he didn’t know?
Fear. You will surpass him.

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Destined to fight the world's evil, The WAMBAG endures massive battles involving impossible stunts, races on horse-pulled carriages, and the desecration of enchanting medieval castles (all done with dizzying computer graphics). Not only does the eye candy keep on coming, the tongue-in-cheek writing and deep Transylvanian accents perfect the film with a dose of dark humor.

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