Soul music finds its way to my front stoop as I silently sit and think-possibly for the first time since I arrived here. Although the cool breeze of spring washes over W. Street breathing earthy smells, the sounds of summer creep in. Birds chirp to the soundtrack of laughter in groups. Trucks pass with windows open and lawnmowers buzz over the fence.
A crowd gathers at the corner. I would love to be a part of their cheery celebration on this unimaginably beautiful April evening. Everyone walking or riding to the street corner is dressed in bright colors and attractive. I’m aware that I’m still an outsider here and will remain one due to the little time I have left in this place where it takes generations to become another part of the architecture in this town.
Time is so cruel, always speeding up and slowing down on its own whim which seems ever contrary to mine. I would love for this sunset to last for years, but already it’s dipping too low too fast. Before I know it, I will be will be walking out to my car as the sun rises in order to be the first in line at our rickety old copier whose clicks echo through the hallways in the early morning.
I actually believe that I am doing something truly amazing which is something I’ve never believed before. My time in this oasis of self-assurance and self-improvement is, of course, unfairly limited. In only one short year I will be ushered back into a world where I belonged in that I wore the right clothes and said the right things most of the time, but felt as if I never did.
Here, I cannot speak the local vernacular, despite being from the same line of latitude. My clothes appear foreign in the local Wal-Mart and my general way of living is strange to people I live around. I will never belong here as a native, but I am needed and I do have a purpose. Because of this, I feel deep down that I belong even though it is clear I can’t. Back ‘home,’ I am just a dreamer with a passion lacking the talent to back it up. Here I have passion and the work ethic to make the incredible, possible.
Somehow I hope that my success here in a place where everything is against me and everything goes wrong precisely at the worst moment will carry me through my former dreaming life. Maybe I can once again work my way through the odds to make something happen.
I just hope that the image from my front stoop and the thoughts that linger with me on Sunday evenings here will never be just a nostalgic afterthought. In order for me to be the person I want to remain, this night and all nights here, will need to be the notebook that I carry in my pocket each day and the last thought on my pillow each night.