Exodus, and then the return
“… Life is old there, older than the trees. Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze … Country roads, take me home. To the place I belong.” It’s no coincidence that I often listen to John Denver, Simon and Garfunkel and Peter, Paul and Mary when taking the bus from Worcester to New Haven.
Thanks to my parents (Mike and Sue), I developed a love for folk music: we saw Arlo Guthrie perform in Edgerton Park and a few years later, we went to a Peter, Paul and Mary concert at the Schubert. Since my exodus to Clark University (Worcester, Mass., 1994), I return home three times a year.
I will be coming home for a couple days in late January. I can’t wait to walk Gracie (my parents’ schnauzer) and have a sidewalk chat with the odd neighbor who walks his cat on a leash. What??
Sans car, I am limited to Westville. Favorite places include Deja Brew, McDonald’s and the Mitchell Library. There’s nothing like escaping from the parents and sailing down to McDonald’s. Everything you could want in one place … a dollar menu, delicious iced coffee, colorful and new tables, uniformed men across the street … and even a CVS next door.
Being a die-hard CVS enthusiast, I’m psyched about the recent opening of CVS on 1150 Whalley Ave. It’s within walking or biking distance (do New Haven CVS’ allow bicycles in the store?) from Oliver Road. It’s a mega CVS that allows for multitasking: in 15 minutes, I can stock up on Kit-Kats, paw through a Fitness magazine and then pick up Simons’ (my cat) methimazole at the pharmacy.
En route home, I hope to run into former classmates. I haven’t decided if I should listen to Jesus and “turn thy other cheek” or square up and throw the best punch. Don’t get me wrong, “old folks” are great, but there is a need for civilization beyond the dog and the parents, even if the encounter involves fists.
Memory is desultory, similar to my experiences growing up here. Edgewood School was awesome. Sheridan Middle School (now the Academy for Excellence) was pretty cool. They had this quirky lesson on typing and the keyboard layout: QAZ went to the WSX (White Sox game), RFV (Run Fast Veronica), TGB (To Get Back), etc. Summer of ’88Housesitting, sprinklers, kitty litter … the late James Tobin (Nobel Prize recipient) who had a Newfoundland was one of my first customers! Before compulsory insurance and liability, running my own petsitting business just rocked. And, oh yeah, the days when you didn’t have to lock your doors or x-ray your Halloween candy … a different time, for sure.
Dwelling in the past is good. And bad. And bad and good. Thanks to Facebook, the past becomes the present. Trite, but true. Occasionally, I’ll get a friend request from someone at Hopkins I knew when I was 13. It brings back the memories, like an exhibit in a museum. Only it’s my life. 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of my exodus from New Haven to Worcester.
I have my own life in Worcester: friends, a full-time job at a local hospital, a spacious apartment, a wonderful little cat.
Eventually, my parents will bite the dust. I’ll have to return to tie up loose ends, adopt Gracie, empty the house, throw all the crap from the house into the Sound…