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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A Drive Down Memory Lane

On the return flight home yesterday I was feeling rather reflective on who I am now and where I was. This continued on to bowling last night as I stared off into space wondering where those I used to know are now. I looked over to the league that Emily and I bowled in and I missed those days of 2001 and 2002.

The trip back in time continued after bowling as I had to drive my car to my dad's as my car needs to go back to the shop for the fourth time in a month (very mad!). This was the first time that I made the drive to that home since I moved out in October. Since I was already in a nostalgic mood this just added to the memories experienced.

As I pulled out onto Watson Road I thought back to all the times I've made that turn. Between the nights I worked there and all the leagues I have been in it is probably at least 1,000 times. After my diagnosis in 2003 the only true socializing I had was at the bowling alley on Mondays and Wednesday. On Wednesdays I actually bowled in two leagues each night and would make that turn towards home on Watson around midnight each week.

Those were lonely nights and I remembered most of them as I got close to the railroad bridge. I also remember the night that I came across what appeared to be a street racing crash as three highly tuned cars were up against the building that used to be a Frank's Arts and Crafts store. It was in those lonely drives that many times my chapters for my book were thought of.

As I closed in on Jamieson Avenue I felt out of place, much like returning to a place of work that you used to work at but don't anymore. It was as if I was invading a place I was no longer welcome. I looked to the right at the red light and saw that the Blockbuster Video store was still there and this brought a smile to my face because that was the first store we shopped at when we moved to Saint Louis in 1993.

Onward down the road and everything was as I remembered it minus the new style street lights which are on Chippewa. Honestly, they are like 10,000 times brighter and more clear than the old ones and I was going to do a blog about them while I lived there but I never got around to it. Anyway, I pulled into home as I was going to drop my car off so my dad could take it to a shop and I was going to take my step-mom's car back to my place.

Walking into the house was much like I had done hundreds of times on a Monday night. Again though I felt out of place like this was walking into a home that you lived in years ago. As I walked into the living room I remembered all the nights I would walk in and go straight to the back room to engross myself in whatever video game I was playing at the time. That was all I had back then and it was from all those nights that my writings flourished.

Teddy the Yorkie came to greet me and I showered him with attention. I still feel bad about him because just as I moved out was the time he started to latch onto me each morning and I would wake up with him staring at me on my bed. I then thought about my cats I had and all the spots they would sit.

A conversation was had and just as I was about to go I went to get a drink of water and walking back towards the front room I saw them. I forgot my dad had received them but there they were, the first copies of the new version of Finding Kansas. I felt so strange that on a night that brought back so many memories be it the Emily, the loneliness I felt, and all those nights of struggle here was the fruit of all that effort. It was so much that I held back tears as I was able to hold my work. It was like holding the first version of my book, but this was more special. The first publisher was sort of a self publish, but this book was by a major publisher that sort of found me. Holding the book made me feel, in a way, as if I had "made it." Made what? It's true that I have done great the past two years, but holding this version of my book took it to the next level. And I don't know, maybe it was the fact that I was traveling down memory lane, but once again I felt okay with the way everything had happened. All those lonely tear-filled nights were not in vain as I turned all that angst into words to describe who I am and why I am.

Quite possibly yesterday was the perfect day from waking up in San Antonio, getting back to town, and having so many things that reminded me of who I am and where I was. It is only when one is reminded of this that one can truly measure the growth that they have experienced. As I drove to my home I did so knowing that despite the hopeless nights I had and all the times I said, "there is no hope" I was lieing. Never could I have imagined just where life would take me and never could I have imagined that I, of all people, would be living on my own. And never, even when I was writing, could I have imagined that I would be published by anyone and have it worthwhile to be read. Yes, I said there was no hope and as I pulled into my driveway I realized that my trip down memory lane just threw my fuel on my passion to spread the message that there is always hope.

2 comments:

  1. Ah yes, good memories are so precious.
    BTW Aaron, these prices for your original paperback on Amazons site...are they for real??
    If so, my purchase has had one terrific investment return

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  2. Yeah, those prices are for real. Is anyone buying at that price though? I'm not sure.

    ReplyDelete