A Strange and Distant Land (Summer 2001)

I was poor, but not hungry. Young, barely twenty. Now I’m old.

Rainy days make for the best recall days, for that summer especially. There were things about myself that come to me like scraps of paper found in a waste basket.

I read the first scrap: Greatness seemed beyond my grasp.

More scraps come to me: I was lonely but surprisingly content.

I remember it rained a lot. I remember being so beach-starved I would take walks with backpack stuffed full of books, a notepad. It rained, so I wore my rain coat as I walked.

I had a job at a coffee shop. And the beginning of friendships. But my dad was getting worse. But that was temporary. He would get better. Young as I was, I worried that all bad things were permanent. I worried nothing would ever get better.

I loved walking through Pompano Beach. It gave me the illusion that I was a traveler in a strange and distant land. I was too young, poor, naive, weighed down by impossible dreams to ever have the chance to travel. So I enjoyed my walks through Pompano. If you have a deep interior life, normal things can seem strange and distant.

I would write little bits of this and that. As much as a place could impress on a twenty-year-old mind. My future seemed to be rushing at me faster than I could handle. Small walks in Pompano helped to turn the tide of inevitably.

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2 thoughts on “A Strange and Distant Land (Summer 2001)

  1. Beautifully written. I’m knocking on seventy’s door, so the twenty-year old me is like a distant stranger now, but her ideals still lurk inside of me, and the things I loved then, I still love now.

    • Is there a moment that is crystal clear to you? I kept a journal, so I still have the benefit of seeing my younger self. I just finished watching Richard Linklater’s “Everybody Wants Some!!” and it really put me in the mood to try to be in a moment when I’m younger without any clear view of the future.

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