Ten Minutes Down the Road

My friend over at In the interest of... put up a post the other day that's been making me think. Damn, I kinda hate it when people do that to me. But, if anyone was going to do it, he makes the short list of those I don't mind so much.

All this thinking has stuck two things right smack in the middle of all my other thoughts. First, this Nickelback song Photograph. I like this song a lot, so it's okay that it's been running through my head non stop since Saturday. And I think it's funny that a lot of my students--I teach high school--don't like it at all. In fact, it's "stupid." I tell 'em everytime "you're just not old enough yet to appreciate it. They didn't write the song for your age group, it's for mine."

It's also sparked some (nonfiction) writing. So...here it is. Be honest--but be polite. I don't share my writing with just anyone.

I grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. My parents still live there.

My mother would kill me if she knew I’d told you that.

Maybe I should explain. In my hometown, there is no “wrong” side of the tracks. There’s the side where everything is—grocery stores, banks, fast food joints—and the side where everything isn’t. It just happened that way, no particular reason. I grew up on the empty side.

When I was little, and the world consisted of school and the neighborhood, I didn’t notice or care. Kids are like that. Sixteen year olds are not. Suddenly, upon reaching that magic freedom age, the world multiplies in size. And living on the “wrong” side crimps your style. Inevitably, the people you want to pass your time with aren’t over “here.” No, they’re over “there” - with stuff to do and knowing glances.

Life lesson number one—you need to figure out on which side the world says you’re supposed to be. You don't have to agree, of course.
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