3. (Mount Dora, FL. and dropping out of college)

Mount Dora isn’t as bad as it seems.  It isn’t deserving of the easy fun and mockery which is had at its expense by bored teenagers. Although, there is nothing particularly exciting about the city either. Most of the population is made of easy going and entitled senior citizens, school teachers and young restless youth. It is just north of Orlando, and for years it enjoyed a relatively isolated existence, lying just beyond the urban sprawl of Disney and its tyrannical yet life breathing grasps. Lately my father has been griping because the small community is being sucked into the “greater Orlando” web of that which gives radical and impassioned youth their fuel for the “anti globalization” fits. Targets, Chili’s, Best Buy, blah blah– it’s always just a matter of time really right? Is it completely uninspired for me to wonder why so much effort is put into a fight which, to my knowledge, is waged year after year only to see more and more Targets and Best Buys? I know that a statement like that reveals the narrow line of thinking which has plagued me my whole life, although, I am undeniably made up of something. I’m made up of a history, of an existence which saw itself unfold in the small town of Mount Dora.  It was a nurturing growth, balanced by a healthy suburban existence and the exciting and fringed flirtations which harbors healthy and monitored exposure to a new world which existed for me to discover on my own terms, rather than that  world rushing into my bed room and infecting my thinking with romance and not reality. I could skate, play punk rock, go to the library and then come home to my parents, who have always been my proof of perfection.  My parents, they somehow found that perfect balance of parenting. Providing guidance and allowing for independence, both in thought and action. I would venture to guess that parenting is the single most difficult and anxiety ridden responsibility that one can enter into, so the grace that my parents displayed is awe inspiring. They were the only church going democrats I knew. I’m trying my best to retain the sober and practical political mentality they instilled in me, although I am fighting the screams of my youthful naivete which lead me in so many silly directions.  What proclamations can a white 28 year old suburbanite make concerning the socio-political agenda while having a existence that goes no deeper than a bath tub in terms of the historical architecture of our society and world. My mom would always say, “you can’t legislate morality” and my dad would just scoff at the news, with the wars and the taxes and the scandals. A few months ago I had a conversation with my dad, it wasn’t exactly a jubilant one, rather, it was just a sad and sympathetic airing of grievances that ended with him saying to me, “son, it doesn’t get any easier”.  Thinking back, it is hard for me trace the point at which an indifference started to creep into my periphery, calming any rough seas my adolescence may have tossed around. Perhaps I’m confusing things, I think the shrugging of my shoulders didn’t plague me till later, at the same time which those collegiate enthusiasts were doing their best to pump me full of their propaganda of progress and growth. “It’s time to find out what you want and go for it!”…so I did. I quit school. I joined a band and started reading Noam Chomsky books, Thoreau, Rand, Lewis, Russell, etc. I know now that reading such a wide array of ideas while witnessing the world around me did nothing to instill an inspiration which would lead me to an imperialistic ambition, rather, it made the world much to large,  and emphasized my roll as one which had to conquer the personal architecture before changing the world of individuals which were probably just as messed up as me. Yeah, I said “messed up”, obviously there are degrees of being “messed up”, from just being dramatic, to it being a clinical issue. Who am I to take the lead? Who am I to take the lead? My hometown was lukewarm. It instilled no passion, no anger, no love, it instilled nothing but a tranquility which I’m sure I’ll never find again, if not for location, then because of age. Leaving wasn’t hard, nor was I foolishly eager. I just left, I left my home, I left my town, I left. What happens to a child upon becoming an adult? I would say that one merely becomes exhausted. It’s as though one starts up a shallow hill in youth, only to break through that first ring of clouds and see that it continues to rise, for miles and miles. Perhaps one adjusts, gets another fit of fire, and rejoins the climb, loses many friends along the way, watching them give up and find comfortable places to exist, giving up the endless climb to breathe a little and do their best to enjoy the confusion and crisis, to love the best way they know how. The hill never ends, it gets steeper, it becomes like some sort of Escher like landscape. So, at this moment in my life, I do not resent or look down upon those who resign, it’s a way of relaxing your insides and being happy with what your eyes can see, rather than with what your mind can’t  comprehend. There are those who enjoy the mystery, and there are those who are defeated by it. Then there are those who ignore it to the best of their ability, but that nagging curiosity of our spirit continually sucks us into a blackness that is spotted and illuminated by a maze of lights which lead us off in any direction. A sinister aurora borealis, or those deep creatures whose bio luminescence led you into some blinding vague end.  All we can do is take solace in children, their bliss is envied, and even more puzzling because we knew that we once had it, and we can’t even recall that age. All we have are pictures and vague recollections polluted by time. How expansive can a canyon be? The grand canyon which forms between youth and adulthood. A division of ones existence. Are the old wise? or merely complacent and exhaustingly resigned? Why is it that the best pleasures that come from such miniscule moments, such small and seemingly inconsequential passing events? How unfair! Are we to have this perspective in the years in which we need this perspective the most? The appreciation of slowness and small pleasures. How unfortunate that is not a tendency of youth to slow down.

1 comment
  1. kel said:

    to me, the mystery of learning more and more every day about how much i do not know is simultaneously exhausting and energizing. either path i choose, my mind is fighting itself.

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