||[Jan. 25th, 2006|01:22 pm]
|||||the tune to matlock||]|
It's the middle of the week, 1:23pm. I'm in a hotel room in Litchfield, Illinois and Matlock is playing at a distance. I'm lucky I got to this point. I could have cracked.
I lived here in 1986, and it seems insane that this was 20 years ago. I remember the 66 Motel Court where my bio mom worked and having pink eye. I also remember beating the shit out out of a boy with my sister - a boy who took my bike and wouldn't give it back. He was riding it, circling Sihler Grade School on the blacktop which substituted our recess playground. My sister grabbed his shirt when he came a little too close on the bike and she pulled him off the still moving bike. We then proceeded to beat him silly. I also remember 842 South State Street, the only residence with happy bio memories. About 7-8 years ago, I traveled back to that apartment only to see that it was boarded up and condemned, much like my happy childhood years. Funny.
My mom, sister and I were little fighters. We had foul language ... and created walls between ourselves and anyone who tried to get in. We were the white trash brigade of sorts, here in Litchfield. Some girl in my sister's class threatened to beat her up one day at school. That afternoon, a small riot broke out on our front lawn, at 842 South State Street. A crowd of about 10 kids had marched their little asses to our apartment and demanded my sister Keri. My mom, sister and I walked out to our front porch and looked at them. My mom then handed my sister a wooden ball bat and said, "Take care of them, Keri!" The kids quickly ran away and we stood there laughing. My bio mom specialized in facades. Don't let others smell your fear, she would say. No matter how much someone beats you down, don't let them know you're down.
I think she's lived by that belief system for the duration of her 53 years.
The view from this hotel room is drab. Some type of truck center and a wanna-be Farm Fleet called "Rural King." The sun is screaming all over the place and I need to get outside soon. Yesterday, I attempted to support small business here in Litchfield by taking a trip to the local Capri IGA. A grocery store I ran around as an eight year old. I boycotted WalMart over two months ago now and coming to Litchfield reminded me why. There are only two places to buy food in this town - the IGA and Super WalMart. I was aching for some vegetarian cuisine or some type of tofu-noodle dish. I have a microwave and fridge in my hotel room and wanted to "cook" my "food" here instead of going out for each meal. Walking down the aisles of IGA was daunting...and haunting. I wondered if people looked at me like I was an outsider and crazy because of how I looked, or because I was looking at them with the same fear. Averting my eyes instantly would prevent them from smelling my fear. IGA disappointed me and had no vegetarian or "ethnic" cuisine.
As I walked through the automatic doors, I rationalized my emergency visit by thinking that by taking my business to WalMart just this once, I would be supporting the employees staring at me. We make choices all the time, and whether or not going to Litchfield WalMart yesterday was ethical...I'm not sure. 'We Sell For Less' cost me $17.69. Leaving, I felt like an alcoholic who had just relapsed. The greeter bid farewell to the woman leaving the doors right before me...and the man directly behind me. I felt a little cheated.
I'm not sure what will become of this sabbatical. I'm not sure if I'm taking a vacation from myself, my home, or those I call my friends and family. Litchfield is my therapeutic alternative, though, I know this much. I was about to jump out of my own mind when I realized in class that I need to get into my car and go. Too much is whirling all around and I have fallen short of answers. Answers to questions that I keep asking myself, really.
I'm hoping for beauty in the breakdown, not tragedy.