Memoir: Arrival From France: 2005

“My Dad taught me many things.

Right here in this room.”

– Michael Corleone, The Godfather II

It felt as though a door had been shut on a party in the next room.

But the sound that seemed to be all around me, yet outside of me, the sound usually muffled by a shutting door, I knew, wasn’t a sound at all, but a feeling. The feeling that I was waking up on the eve of something new, big, the noise next door making me heavy with excitement.

It was a strange kind of immersive feeling. I lay in my old blue sleeping bag I think I’d found in the closet, unravelling its bright red inner lining from my body. I thought, “This is it, here it is: you’re free–finally free”

I lay in the basement of my father’s new townhouse, well, it was still somewhat new to me, he’d been remarried four years I think, at that time. It was the early morning of January 11th, 2005, I had just arrived once again from being away, which so characterized my twenties, this time from being in France, married with child for roughly a little over three years.

I’d left them, well, so to speak, after not having a job basically the entire duration of that time living in a prison with a person I discovered I had very little in common with, happened to marry, happened to have a daughter with, and stayed for that long–for that reason alone.

It had that this is a new life’ feeling. God I love that feeling, so fresh, like I’d never lifted a finger in that land before. But I was in the place I’d grown up, a few neighborhoods off from Springfield, in Annandale, Virginia.

Virginia never felt mythical, or enchanted in any way. Now it does, looking back, and each time I re-arrive there. Of course so much has changed, it’s risen into a sprawl comparable to LA now, and was well on its way, even at that time.

My dad’s old glass cased Sony stereo system with big ol’ black speakers rose up from the floor with some sort of oak or mahogany imitation wood.

I had turned on the lamp and remembered that, of all things, of all people, my old High School English teacher, Mrs. Rice, had picked me up from Dulles the night before. She was Jewish, had absolutely huge, enormous black hair, and quite a homely appearance, which was something she always would openly admit, which I always found interesting. It was even more interesting to me though, that she was once ecentric and yet, on every occasion I came in contact with her, had a talk with her, what have, you, she never talked about anything but the most asinine things.

We had a funny discussion, or rather, not quite a discussion, but a conversation in the car that was a bit different and at first made me think she was in fact the usual result of eccentricity: somewhat interesting . She wanted to know everything…Stay Tuned for More From Neal Cormier: Memoir I.


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