The drive is only two hours, but it seems like a world away.
And just like that - I was back in my hometown - the place I grew up. It's not home any more. It's where I grew up. Home is Nashville, for now. Home is the world. Home is Moscow, Ponferrada, Pamplona, Liberia, Belmopan, Muxia, ....
Home is where Kim is. Home is where my head rests. Home is even - occasionally - my hometown.
I don't fit in. Never really have. When I was a kid, everything felt awkward - limbs, thoughts, actions, speach. Everything felt awkward. I thing everyone had those feelings, but I (Like everyone else, I suppose.) believe my awkwardness to rule supreme. I still don't fit in. But I'm okay with that now.
I took a few minutes to sit with a high school buddy, Chris S., last night. We met at the Humboldt Golf and Country Club, a place that sounds much more grand than it is. He's well. He works a nearby steel mill. First time I've seen him in about 30 years. It was good to catch up.
Mom and Dad and I slipped away to grab a bit for dinner. It was ... bad.
I'd been invited to the Street Dance, an event that's been hosting awkward white people trying to dance for a little over 85 years in a row. I strolled up to Main Street to see if I cold spot my pal's Sally or Jennifer. Neither in sight. I saw the old HS Coach. I saw Barry B. I saw hometown folk. People I grew up with and around.
No one even came close to recognizing me. I was a little bit put off at first, but then I noticed that look in the old coach's eye. It was not dissimilar from the look locals have cast on outsiders throughout the ages. "Who is this? Where are they from?" I picked up a hint of, "Who does this guy think he is?" I was looking for some friends. I was comfortable. I was happy.
I didn't fit in. Never have, really.
I'll head home to Kim on Friday. I'll take in an afternoon practice at Liberation. I'll have a nice dinner on the back porch. I'll be happy. I'll be comfortable. I love my home.