Driving home on the last scampabout, I heard Kathleen Edwards’s song “Somewhere Else.”
[audio:09 Somewhere Else.mp3]
I cried through Farwell, Texas and into New Mexico listening to it. Replay, replay, replay. Crossing that border, the song brought up both loss and a delicious longing for something almost out of reach, but possible. A sense of place, of belonging, of home.
Today I leave for Green Valley, AZ (just south of Tucson) and San Diego. In both cities I’ll stay with friends I’ve known since junior high, plus I’ll see a few other people from my early history I haven’t seen in years, even decades.
In high school, I wondered what would become of my friends and me. Some of us became interesting, successful people. (Like those I’ll see on this trip.) Others took a different path. One kid I remember in particular – he was popular, beautiful, kind – but after high school he turned to heroin, and then armed robbery, which landed him in prison. I hear he’s out now, but I wonder what his life could have been. Or maybe he’s happy exactly where he is, I don’t know.
If you’d told me I’d someday live in a tiny New Mexico town, still single and towing a trailer around in search of America and maybe myself, but supremely happy – I’d have said you were crazy. But here I am. I ended up somewhere else, but it’s the closest I’ve come to feeling truly at home anywhere. Which, for me these days, is sometimes everywhere.