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Tramps like us


Someday girl I don't know when we're gonna get to that place
Where we really want to go
and we'll walk in the sun . . .


They tell you you can't run from your problems. That's one of the lies they tell you to keep you down, to keep you miserable, to keep the status quo in check. For some of them, running is the only answer.

I ran. I loaded everything I owned that would fit into my 1979 Chevy Impala and drove 800 miles through rain that stretched over half the nation just to find a place.

I was dating a young woman who was mending a broken heart inflicted by someone else. I was her stopgap, and she was never going to be what I needed. I needed to move on, and I needed a reason. I hope wherever she is, she's happy.

I was working temporary jobs when they came. The money sucked, but the hours were good and I didn't have to care.

Otherwise, it was too much TV, too much junk food, and too little showering.

I saw an interview with Perry Farrell once, he of Jane's Addiction and Lollapalooza and Porno for Pyros. The interviewer asked him if he had any advice for young kids just starting out. I paraphrase, “When you turn 18, get out of your parents' house and find your own way in the world. Pay your own way. Live.”

I wasn't 18. I hadn't been for almost 10 years.

Shit, or get off the pot.

Everybody's out on the run tonight
but there's no place left to hide


I remember that long summer drive being heartbreaking and wonderful and full of adventure and sadness, fear and longing. The long flat stretch of Ohio farmland letting my mind wander until the radio announced tornado warnings.

I knew no one in Louisville. I had visited once before just to see it, but now I was going to learn its streets, start at a new school, live on my own. I was a trapeze artist and the net was gone.

I hated law school. For four months, it felt like a horrible mistake. I had left home in August. In January, I was ready to pack again, turn tail and go home. But this was becoming home. Friends, commiserators.

I hate being challenged. I will never lie and say I like a challenge, because I don't. I want things to be easy. I'm smart and haven't had to work at much. Now I did and I resented the hell out of it.

They, whoever they are, like to tell you to follow the rules. But there are no rules. If I could hand everyone a rulebook, it would be a journal of blank pages. You're on your own. Figure it out.

I figured it out. For me. I couldn't advise anyone how to get through law school. I did it, but I did everything wrong, if you read the “rules.” I did it so wrong that I don't practice anymore. I realized money (which there really wasn't) and status (ditto) didn't matter without my soul.

I'll love you with all the madness in my soul


I loved Louisville. I loved the character of the city, a mix of Midwestern calm and Southern charm. I made friends I still have, both from and outside law school.

I would meet the love of my life. Raised in Kentucky, she believes it is the most beautiful place on earth. I made her my wife on a former tobacco farm in August, almost exactly nine years after I first moved south.

I would find out who I was the hard way, the only way you ever really learn. I thought I was running away. But I was running toward my life.

Baby, we were born to run



[Posted for LJ Idol - Season 6 - Topic 11 - Run, Don't Walk]

Comments

( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
alstaria
Jan. 21st, 2010 12:01 am (UTC)
As someone who also "ran away" to find myself, I found this both entry both beautiful and true. Loved the use of song quotes, too!
thndrstd
Jan. 21st, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! :)
supremegoddess1
Jan. 21st, 2010 12:24 am (UTC)
I actually listened to Born to Run on the way home from work tonight.

Nice piece, and very true. I'm getting ready to run away myself, and for many of the same reasons.
thndrstd
Jan. 21st, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading, and good luck to you in your endeavor. I hope you find as much fulfillment as I did.
the_surfacer
Jan. 21st, 2010 03:42 am (UTC)
Raised in Kentucky, she believes it is the most beautiful place on earth.

Isn't it, though? ;)
thndrstd
Jan. 21st, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
I agree. :)
roina_arwen
Jan. 21st, 2010 06:02 am (UTC)
I'm not sure I get this line in the third paragraph: dating a young woman who was wounding a broken heart . I think there's just something off about the use of "wounding"... maybe it's just me.

Otherwise, an excellent entry - I like that you're running TO rather than FROM. Well done.
thndrstd
Jan. 21st, 2010 06:03 am (UTC)
Thank you so much. And, yes, it should be "mending."
comedychick
Jan. 21st, 2010 09:49 am (UTC)
Great stuff! My husband doesn't practice law any more for similar reasons. Oh, and my favourite line? "I thought I was running away. But I was running toward my life." I like that sentiment.
thndrstd
Jan. 21st, 2010 04:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for reading & commenting. It's always reassuring to find more reformed lawyers out there.
baxaphobia
Jan. 21st, 2010 10:22 am (UTC)
This is great. I think it's the best you've written in the contest this season! And I love Louisville!
thndrstd
Jan. 21st, 2010 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the praise. I'm very glad you like it. I love and miss Louisville, too.
alycewilson
Jan. 22nd, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
Very nice. I like the almost lyrical quality of this piece, how you intersperse the facts with description.
thndrstd
Jan. 25th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much.
plastrickland23
Jan. 22nd, 2010 04:38 am (UTC)
I'm from CIncinnati, so I can totally imagine and know your drive. P.
thndrstd
Jan. 25th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Feel my pain!!! LOL. That drive that can be awfully miserable. It can be great, too. That time it was probably a mix of both.

Thanks for reading.
shadowwolf13
Jan. 22nd, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
I did a bit of the same. After I graduated high school I got a job and started looking for a way to move from my grandparent's house. I could have stayed, they would have allowed me to stay but I knew I couldn't. And since then I've tried to ask for help as little as possible.

Very good entry.
thndrstd
Jan. 25th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you. It's hard to move away from security and comfort, but sometimes it's absolutely necessary.
drjeff
Jan. 23rd, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)
This is lovely. Nicely done!
thndrstd
Jan. 25th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
onda_bianca
Jan. 24th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
"I thought I was running away. But I was running toward my life."

Awesome last line.
thndrstd
Jan. 25th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
teaberryblue
Jan. 25th, 2010 03:51 am (UTC)
I did something similar and it backfired spectacularly on me! Then I went home and picked up the pieces of my life that were still waiting for me and got things together, and now I am a super happy person.

I thought this was really well-written.
thndrstd
Jan. 25th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much.
imafarmgirl
Jan. 26th, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Great entry. Funny how somehow we just run into the lives we are meant to have.
thndrstd
Jan. 26th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
True. Thanks for reading.
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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