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.


  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

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