Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sam's Town

OK, I can’t promise that you will find this interesting, but it feels really good to write it all down. There are some people I know that maybe have never heard the full, long version, either, so maybe this will help them a bit, too. It covers a lot of time, a huge part of my past, and a big piece of my soul. So without further ado…

There is a key new person in this story, and I will introduce him as Sam…with no explanation as to why I chose that;-) Sam moved into the same neighborhood as me and my two BFFs when we were all about 11. Immediately, he became our fourth;-) He was a little bit mischievous, super-cute, and an absolutely devoted friend.

Sam, BFFb, BFFg and I were as close as friends can be for the next couple of years, spending all the time we could together, getting into and out of trouble together and basically keeping each other afloat. It is the worst imaginable environment to raise a kid in, and the fact that we are all alive, out of jail and thriving is a tribute to how much we cared about each other and looked out for each other. I spent a lot of time at my friends’ houses in those days, always because they were more comfortable places than my own.

Things sort of moved along like that for a couple of years, and then in our sophomore year of high school, Sam and I started dating. It was really good, especially at first…he was one of my best friends, I cared about him deeply, and he felt the same. It was really a pretty seamless relationship, especially for high school kids. It was also a rock for me during some very stormy times at home (my mother and I never fought when she was a drunk, but once she sobered up we sure did!) I spent quite a few nights at Sam’s house, and his mother was an extremely important part of my life as well.

The only thing that ever really came between us, honestly, was “expectations”. I always knew I wanted to move away…I didn’t know what I wanted to do, I just knew that I didn’t want to live in a crime and drug infested ghetto where virtually everyone is on some form of government assistance. Sam had a more limited vision…he really just wanted to graduate from high school, get a job, and get on with living. He certainly didn’t want to live in the same place we did, but a lower-middle class area nearby was probably what he considered ideal.

When you are 16, those sorts of things are kind of irrelevant. However, as our senior year approached and then finally started, it became clear to me that we wanted very different things in life. Still, I loved him, he was always great to me and I enjoyed virtually every second I ever spent with him.

This “clash of expectations” did not exist solely between me and Sam. My mother, in her never-ending efforts to force me into the same exact kind of life she had, was adamantly opposed to me going away to college. She wanted me to graduate, get a job, get married, start having kids and maybe go to a community college part time if I was feeling ambitious. She had a million reasons…it costs too much, I wasn’t like any of the other college kids and wouldn’t fit in, I would start but never finish and then owe a ton of money, college was for “rich kids”.

I applied to colleges completely without any help from my mother, and in fact against her wishes. I applied to a school in Arizona because it was a) warm, and b) far away. That was it…I had never been south or west of St. Louis. Arizona seemed like heaven to me.

These parallel stories came to a head in the winter and spring of my senior year of high school (I graduated in 2001). The first major event was my receiving a fat envelope from the school I had applied to without my mother knowing. On what should have been a great day with a major sense of accomplishment, my mother threw a fit you wouldn’t believe, broke a window by throwing an ashtray and called the school to tell them I wasn’t coming. She told me that I was “forbidden” to go away to college. Luckily, the school ignored her, and I sent back a deposit on my own.

[Special thanks to Mrs. Willsey, the guidance counselor who walked me through all of this at school. Being a guidance counselor at an inner-city public high school is not an easy job, but she was invaluable in helping me apply, get in and then apply for financial aid.]

I wasn’t quite sure how, but I was going to move away to school, and she could go and fuck herself. My mother and I stopped speaking, she was trying to wreck my future, and about a month later, the other shoe dropped: I missed a period…I was pregnant (or, at least, I thought I was).

[to be continued...and yes, I am being obnoxious by leaving it at this point:-P]


allbilly said...

I think you should have just put a period after the word pregnant and left us hanging.

Believe it or not, I actually like that I have to wait to read the rest. I used to love it when the Dukes of Hazard ended with "to be continued".

Ally said...

That is one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when you're in high school. I'm sure that if your mother knew, she would have rejoiced. Bravo for you for being so independent and wanting better for yourself (and not just a little better).

So when are we getting the next installment?

Still just me said...

This unfinished story only confirms in me that you are more head-strong and mature for your age. I really admire you, and wish that I had your courage.

Accidentally Me said...

Billy - I thought about that, but decided to add the last part...there is enough drama left already. And probably four or five more parts.

Ally - Do you mean rejoiced over me being pregnant? Kind of, which I will touch on later...but for entirely selfish reasons. Next part, tomorrow morning;-)

SJM - Thanks:-) That's really sweet of you. I had some miserable people in my life, but I had a lot of great ones, too.

Big Sis said...

I never heard this story, and I am not fucking waiting until tomorrow to hear it, you little whore-bag. Call me right now!!!

Ally said...

Yes, I meant your mother would have rejoiced over you being pregnant because that could mean that you're "trapped" so to speak and can't go off to college as easily. She seems that vindicative (sorry to say something ugly about your mother, but based on what you've written, that seems like a possiblity).

brookem said...

Wow. I can't wait to hear the next installment. You seem like one hell of a strong person.

k.d. said...

i won't say anything until i read the rest of the story. ;-)

(long post! and you even had time for a 'special thanks'! how nice.)

Ella said...

Your tenacity during your difficult childhood is inspiring.

Your story just keeps getting better and better! I can't wait to hear the rest. Don't leave us hanging too long.

Tiffany 24/7 said...

The more I read about you and your story, the more I am inspired by your life! Being a 23 year old in a big city myself, I sometimes think I'm alone in my "adventurous past" and in my present path. Hearing how others have pulled through it and are overcoming it is such a breath of relief (although I don't wish anyone would have to go through what I've been through)! It makes me understand that I'm not alone!

Can't wait for the next installment!!!

Bob said...

I cannot wait for the next installment either.

socal sweetie said...

After reading your blog daily, (and checking back for older entries that I may have missed), I seriously do admire you! You have so much ambition, and you've really proven that you can take on anything. I can't wait to read the next part of this story...=]

Aaron said...

I say, keep 'em waiting!

(Works for me on my blog, anyway.) ;)

And don't let Tiffany fool you. She and I both know she isn't a big-city girl.