Thursday, August 07, 2008


-in any case, I’ve been thinking lately Fremont lately. About the time I spent there. It was the only suburb I ever lived in, and I only lived there for two years. This was between the ages of sixteen and nineteen, I was just about to turn seventeen when I moved there and I had just turned nineteen when I left. But I feel I got the complete experience. Or at least the meat of it.

I felt all the boredom and the restless angst. I buried myself in distractions and tried to figure out who I was. I discovered the role I would feel most comfortable defining me. I experimented. I made mistakes. I recognized how open the future was and I took for granted my youth. I rebelled. I got humiliated. I made friends and met those friends family. Their family met mine. We all wondered how each others Christmas went.

Of course the role I chose was that of One on the Edge. if not because I was already, then because I wanted to be. I did every drug I could get my hands on. starting with weed and not ending until I had done them all. this was my senior year in high school (have I already mentioned that? I’ve decided I’m too lazy to edit now, anyway) and by the end of it I was nursing a pretty healthy habit to a pretty low grade meth amphetamine called Crank.

ugh. just typing the name of it makes me gag.

it wasn’t a big deal to me at the time. but Will took it too far, as he was want to do, and turned that healthy habit into a nasty addiction. being the opportunist he is, he came up with the brilliant idea of selling it in order to support his own usage, hoping to make some money on the side. this didn’t work. he ended up not only deep into his habit, but deep into debt with a guy that had a lot of tattoos and some guns. long story short one day I woke up and I walked out of my room and my new mother was fussing over her purse and when I saw him he was crying and he said, "I’m going to rehab. I told mom everything. I flushed all the dope."

and well, that was that with crank while I was in Fremont.

I had just started writing then. every day, after school, after getting stoned on the bleachers near the football field. I would go to the writing lab and write nonsense into the computer. sometimes stories and sometimes actual journal entries, but mostly just gibberish about being high on weed. I did well in my classes, even being asked to go into honors programs, but mostly declined, afraid I would have to do more work or worse, be separated from my friends.

there was a guy named Nando that was good looking and smart and popular and dated one of the hottest girls in the school. one of the few people I’ve ever met that intimidated me with just their charisma. we did acid a few times together and had a good trip. but one time he dropped and didn’t come back. it was strange. Sudden. One day he got that unhinged look in his eye and it just never went away.

he would ask us if we saw the energy fields that surrounded him. his eyebrows were always raised, curious. he would wonder aloud if we really understood what was happening to us, if we were taking note of the consequences. And we would ask him the consequences of what.

he would just say back, "Is that even the right question to ask?"

because he had always been so smart and so popular and had dated one of the hottest girls in the school, we didn’t ask any more questions when he would go on these tangents, but all of us wondered. and I, at least, knew. he was gone. he had lost it. his sanity had been compromised. I had seen it before. it was all too familiar. it made me so uncomfortable I stopped hanging around with him. it was just too creepy. he reminded me of my mother.

I fell in love for the first time in Fremont. with a girl with an ex boyfriend that was known for wanting to murder his ex girlfriends new boyfriends. it didn’t help that she appreciated the drama. she loved anything that made our relationship operatic. once, she suggested that we go on one of the talk shoes that were all the rage at the time. Ricky Lake or Jenny Jones or Montel or Sally Jesse. She said she would fake like she was an angry girlfriend and that I should fake like I had cheated on her. I asked her why I’d ever want to do a thing like that and she said, "you know, for fun." she liked the confrontation. it got her off. I stayed with her for a year longer than I should have only because she was brilliant in the bedroom and gave blowjobs that could cure the misery in a man. but I knew it was never going to last, and it didn’t.

Ahh, Fremont.

there were the endless days of summer when none of us would be working and nobody had money and there was nothing to do in all of America. it was just us and the car and the suburban maze that has no exit. we would scream from our windows into the starless night, tossing empty bottles at the street lamps as we ran red lights. there were those special moments in strip mall parking lots where one of us would find romance and the other would have to wait it out. there were the awkward house parties when the parents weren’t home and the story the next morning about who did what. there was television and Mtv and songs that spoke to us.

Fremont is in me.

I’ve been thinking about Fremont lately. I’ve been thinking about my youth.


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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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