Going Back pt. 1


I was born a foot this side of the tracks, I joke. My mother had an eighth-grade education. She sat with 30 other kids in a one-room schoolhouse in some no-name farm town in northern Wisconsin. My father achieved a high school education and allegedly a scholarship to Purdue which he forfeited for one hour with a sixteen-year-old. I harbor no grudge nor animosity toward them. With one exception: Their insistent protestations, threats, and finally abandonment regarding my decision to defect, seek asylum for fear of persecution because I wanted a college degree and because I was gay: Having lost patience I insisted I wouldn’t stay in my hometown any more than the Yellow Warbler would stay the winter. If we both had ignored that innate call to leave the familiar we would have surely perished. And I’m uncertain of the Yellow Warbler but my flight felt like I’d fallen into a patch of firethorn, second in pain only to my mother’s scheduled absence when my taxi arrived. So I decided, after telling the cabbie my destination, that I’d become a fledgling Robin leaping from the nest and failing to fly, flying occurs after falling; falling triggers faith; falling faster surrounded by a vortex of swirling updrafts and downdrafts! Then suddenly without thought or debate or decision, I extended my arms into the maelstrom. Moments later my arms caught an updraft and I was flying. And like my brethren, once aloft and free home is behind you, and ahead? Clear skies with a slight tailwind.


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