Hometown Goodbyes

It’s been 10 years now, that I left my hometown of nearly 30 years. In pictures it’s a lovely little place, a coastal suburb outside of Boston. I lived in a not-so-picturesque part of town, with a major roadway abutting my backyard. I slept in the same room for almost three decades, then abruptly moved when my parents retired to Florida.

To remember my hometown is to summon an uneasy feeling. There was no specific incident, it was just a confusing experience filled with incompatible people. It left me thinking, “what the hell was that all about?!” I did not enjoy my time there, or form any significant bonds. I spent most of the time sitting quietly, either in class or in front of a television.

In a way it felt like a prison sentence, I was wary of other inmates while waiting out my time. It’s a bleak remembrance, but that’s how I felt so much of the time, either anxious or bored. But after twenty years in solitude, as loneliness started to set in, the Internet came into existence — I could reach out and communicate with others outside of my surroundings — suddenly life seemed interesting.

On the Internet, I explored the world beyond my room, I experimented socially with ease, eventually meeting my best friend in a chat-room. In a way it feels like I spent two decades just waiting for the Internet to be invented. After my best friend arrived, the last few years weren’t so bad, and I was able to experience the locale through someone else’s eyes.

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