Monday, August 02, 2004


Starting it up...leaving it behind.

All right...the plan was to shift all the DA stuff here, and I'll probably do that, but I still have to work out some of the specifics on the site...meantime, comments on a previous post have me thinking about the ex-pat question, and of course, mulling it over a whole helluva lot as I pedal furiously down the very well maintained--and well observed--bike paths of Munich Germany. I think I'm an ex-pat by accident, grew up in mid-America (very) and in a social strata that was likely to make fun of--if not vilify--anyone who was pretentious enough to think that there was more to life than was offered by, say, a Friday night run to OKC to catch Rocky Horror, and I carried a little of that with me for much longer than I wanted was not until after I had established residence in a THIRD state after having left my home town that I finally shook a nasty habit of telling myself, 'Well, if this doesn't work out, we can always move back to Oklahoma.' After the third move, that switched to improvement in itself...but the whole thing being definitive of a severe lack of confidence at that age. Well. Not to get too uncomfortably personal about all that (I've thought too much on that subject, written bloody reams of paper on it, and in fact started going back through a lot of it and suddenly realizing I might be closer to a novel (or at least novella) than I'd previously thought...) suffice it to say that there is that element of the bohunk-homebody about me, the weirdo who actually gets worked up at the Rock 'n' Bowl, especially when he's had a Bud or two...

More to the point...anyone remember that old Sesame Street song, 'I Don't Want To Live On The Moon?' I'm with Ernie. I think there's an element of superstition to my own embracing of that sentiment because I know my own sense of immortality is almost exclusively based on the idea of decomposition and a return to the cycle of being as I understand it through my rather Earth-bound experience. I mean, the same process goes on in space as well, presumably, so there's something maddeningly provincial about insisting that my bodily remains must return to the specific ashes and dust that I happen to be familiar with. Still. I Don't Want To Decompose On The Moon.

Believe it or not, this is relevant.

Point being, when, at the ripe old age of 29, I finally found myself on a plane and lifted off the soil of the North American continent, I regarded it as one of the most frightening moments of my I really had broken a particular bond to that location. All ridiculous, of course--I've been back since, and life'd probably be that tiny smidgen easier if I were to give up moving about and just settle back where I come from, but I don't want it, in the very worst way. And part of the reason I don't want it is because of that sense of fear--how afraid I remember being when leaving, all my life being under the impression (and these were impressions that I actively criticized, that I doubted at every turn, that I challenged frequently and sometimes at the expense of losing friends who saw such challenges as, for lack of a better word, 'unpatriotic'...) that this was the best nation in the world, and that things only got worse outside of its borders. That this truth wasn't borne out by the reality probably did more for my desire to stay out (that and the 2000 elections...shudder...) than any rational weighing of facts, ideals, policy, or so was a gut-level emotional response...which has since come to express itself through much more specific considerations.

And it's late, so talking about those has to wait for another time.'s the thing: since leaving, I have not felt nearly the fear that I consistently felt within America's borders. Maybe that's me. Maybe that's simply one person's growing up...or maybe there's a little more to that fact. Maybe it's partially, at least, having slipped a certain narrowly prescribed media lens. I'm in no position to objectively judge such a thing...but I do know, all politics aside, I'm just more personally comfortable NOT there.

Especially right now.

I'll think more on this, because I probably have more to write about on this subject. We'll call the above the emotional basis for these feelings. I'm sure I'll get ambitious in the near future and talk a little more about how my head factors into this question...and it does indeed.

bis bald


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