Life without control is madness, traumatic, and disenfranchising. Nothing makes sense any longer and in order to try and hang on to some thread of sanity we need things not to make sense. We embrace our insanity in order to normalize our experience and to remain coherent enough to get through any given day. Such was how my time in this beautiful coastal city came to an end. Our family was unraveling. Our dreams were being eroded, at least mine were and if I paid any ounce of attention to what might have been happening with my parents I would say that theirs were as well. There was nothing left to do but to chase carrots and my dad was getting really good at that.
I came home from school one day to have both of my parents waiting there to talk to me. “We are going to tell you a secret”, they both said. “You cannot tell anyone, just in case it does not happen.”
I was intrigued and gave them my full attention.
“We may be moving to another city.”
I was shocked. I shouldn’t have been but I was. “Where?” I exclaimed, both out of curiosity and out of annoyance.
“It is a great opportunity”, was as much information as I was going to get. “You cannot tell anyone. If you do, dad may not get the promotion.”
The thought of being so powerful as to thwart my father’s career aspirations terrified me. I was well trained.
I kept my mouth shut. I even put on a brave and honorable performance when out of the blue a couple of days later my teacher phoned me at home with some news.
“You have done amazing this year”, he said. “At the beginning of next year you are going to receive a very special award.”
I was excited and I thanked him, all the while remaining calm but wanting to scream out that next year would be too late as I would not be there. I would ask him to give the award to me now – or to let me know what the award was for at least. But, I rationalized that to ask him would mean that I would break the secret, and although I would find out what the award was, and would possibly be given that award now, my father would not receive his big promotion, we would not be moving, and consequently I would be back for the beginning of next year, which would piss off my teacher, thus resulting in him taking back the award from such a manipulative little bastard that I was, ending in my complete humiliation in front of the entire student body. Some how it would be easier to walk away not knowing. To this day I still have no idea what that award was about. I was never around to receive it. And the school had no idea where I had gone to. Transferring of school files were done through district offices and, really, who could be bothered. The kid didn’t even let anyone know that he was moving after all.
And that is how it was done. Within two weeks our family pulled out of our driveway, the movers showing up the next day to load all of our belongings into a truck to transport them to the next place. My brother and I had no idea where we were going. I hadn’t told a soul. No-one knew that I was leaving. They would show up to school the next day and I wouldn’t be there. A few days would go by and eventually my absence would be noticed. Some inquiries would be made and some stories would circulate. But, in the end, my school work would be taken down off the walls, my name tag covered over, my instrument given to the next kid, and there would be someone different playing under the big oak tree behind the school. As our family drove away that morning I spent my time peering out of my window from the back seat wondering if anyone would miss me. Would anyone care that I had left. How long would it take them to forget me. A shame really for I had already begin to forget myself.