I found myself taking a detour today that brought back so many memories of growing up, things I have pushed out of my mind for a very long time. This morning I took a drive to Lodi, headed to my friend Sergio’s house (check out his Instagram- serg_87). There was some construction on the freeway and I made a last minute decision to skip the stop and go by taking some back roads, leading straight through my hometown.
I usually avoid going back, I can’t tell you the last time I drove through even though it’s only fifteen miles from where I live. My husband works there and his family still lives on the outskirts of town, aside from that I steer clear. Today was a much different story, with Eric Church’s “Springsteen” blaring on my radio I drove the road that passed by my old high school. Not much has changed there, I’m sure every year there are a few wild kids filling in for my friends and I. I have some great memories of that place; a little studying, skipping class, and having a good time. I glanced at the old auditorium, a sanctuary for us back then. It made me think of people who haven’t crossed my mind in quite some time.
Across the street from the school is the road that lead home, until my junior year when we moved to the country. Back then I had friends living on that road, we would walk up and down it many times a day. It’s the same street my friend Josh would walk in the morning, after the bus dropped him at school he would come walk with me.
I made my way out of town and cut back over to the freeway. As soon as I turned I realized I was headed in the direction of the house my best friend from high school. It was the way we would always take between our houses, just an old country road but it was our ticket to freedom. I began driving that route before I had my license, just a learner’s permit with my dear grandmother patiently riding shotgun. Once in school he bleached his hair to match mine, then we both dyed the ends of our hair blue to shock everyone. I still have some of the letters he would pass me in the halls, filled with his beautiful, loopy handwriting which is much prettier than mine. All of these thoughts made a big smile cross my face as I accelerated back onto the freeway. Just a few exits down, I made sure to blow a kiss as I passed the cemetery where he is buried.
“For some life lasts a short while, but the memories it holds last forever.”-Laura Swenson