Up on top of that miner’s hill sat this idyllic 80’s styled house stuffed full of everything modern and stylish at the time. There was a new car in the carport, new furniture in the living room, and new dishes in the cupboards, although that last part was mostly in part to me breaking all of our dishes on a fairly regular basis. Apparently I was the most clumsy teenager to a fault.
My body seemed to take shifts in how it was growing. First, apparently it was my ass, growing out so much that it hit a neighboring wall whenever I turned. Then it was my feet, which required the iconic clown shoe to have a good fit. This of course, translated into a rather awkward moment during a school basketball match where I was given a breakaway opportunity, wide open with a straight dash to the opponent’s net, only to dribble the ball right onto my protruding foot that slapped the court floor as I ran, projecting the ball like a bullet running parallel to the floor into the audience’s seats.
Or, the walls that seemed to close in around me as I would walk, most notably, down a hallway where instead of a regular straight jaunt I would ricochet off of both opposing walls, crashing over the telephone stand at the other end. I have fallen backwards through my parent’s glass screen storm door while talking with some of my friends. I have kicked a ball in our backyard at a weird angle, tripping over my ankle in the same motion, only to add momentum to the ball as it went through a window like a brick. My hand has missed the door handle, awkwardly springing out from my body like a recoiled spring snake in a nut can, smashing through the window. All of these examples, sadly, were taken from this time in this mountain top village and only represent a very small percentage of my awkwardness.
My awkwardness was not limited to my physical apparitions but were contained between the pages of my personal diary as well. A sacred book that I kept well hidden in my room and to which I would retreat several times a day to try and make sense out of my life. In particular I was seeking personal clarification around my sexual being, exploring adolescent sexual awakenings, and finding helpful meaning through overly descriptive language. This came to a crashing halt the day my younger brother discovered my said diary, read the entire thing, not just to himself, but to the girl who was featured in some of the entries, and to his friends. I got the book back but quickly burned it with the renewed energy to make my life even more secretive then it already was.
Oddly enough this is the only memory I have of my younger brother in the entire two and a half years that we were in this mountain top village. I was aware, though, that during our time here he attempted to run away several times, although I couldn’t have been bothered to figure out why or pay attention to how long each time was. We lived different lives even though we lived under the same roof.
Such could be said the same for my parents as well.
I wasn’t the only broke person in our move from the northern city to this place. Very quickly into this new rhythm of life my mom exited the home to enter the workforce. She was doing several different things such as desktop publishing for the local newspaper and involved in a variety of community events but it was her job at the local flower shop that kept her away from the home the most. She formed this micro-community that revolved around this flower shop, run by a couple of flamboyant individuals who loved life and loved their rum. Work hours extended well past the closing of the business and into the evenings where my mother would be most days of the week.
It would seem she was not missed that much by my dad as his job had continued his consumption of his life, his time, and his soul. He had no time for community events, no time for connection with his family at all, for he was feeling the increased pressure to deliver big numbers to head office at the expense of a community that was struggling to make ends meet. The cracks on the veneer were beginning to show.