[this all started when i found this picture while listening to this song. heard the song again today; hence the renewed nostalgia...]
i have one exam - one long, stupid take-home exam for a professor i, frankly, detest - standing between me and freedom for fall 2010. senior-itis (LL.M.-itis?) is hitting me hard. and with winter like this hitting the metro area as hard as it can, i was in the right frame of mind to get knocked sideways by a four-minute pop song about driving the river road in baton rouge.
yeah, i was never so sweet on baton rouge when i lived there. i love, love, LOVE the fact that i hold two degrees from LSU law center. i am proud as hell of that. GEAUX. TIGERS. but the town itself? meh. it's funny, though, how experiences twine themselves around your heart when you least see them coming. i find myself realizing just what i had when i lived there, and how, well, perfect LSU was for me.
i'll hit the road myself in a few days, heading back south for a series of amazing reunions with people all over the southeast, the family and friends who, frankly, got ignored for too long while i was living the old life, the one that wasn't me. but when i'm here, though i am blissfully happy with my surroundings, a shockingly intense twinge of longing for, say, boudin balls at the chimes whipsaws through me. i have no idea what causes this, but there it is.
this is an old habit of mine. for most of my adult life, and even when i was a snotty little college kid, i found it remarkably hard to just light somewhere. (to translate the southernism: light somewhere = be still and settle.) i spent my last two years of college constantly driving back and forth across the commonwealth of virginia. i always want to move, to go, to do. i am almost never at my house. it makes me wonder if it's the place i miss, or the action, the motion, the other-ness? interesting question, i guess. the time will come, very soon, when i put down roots for real. i've made commitments to this place, ones that i am not at all interested in breaking. the pliability that accompanied some of my old life choices is no longer available - the people involved in my decision-making process are adults, with lives and responsibilities of their own. balancing all of this inures towards staying still, being present and breathing for once in my life.
so the old strains of that silly little song, which really does sum up nights in baton rouge better than a thousand descriptions i could write, still tug at my heart. but when i'm done having some brews and marinating in that sweet, sweet southern moon, i'll get in the car and come back here, back to the arms of my love, my city, and i'll curl up in the comfort of home. the roots will grow. they're small, but they are most certainly there.
Letter 70: Be Louder
5 weeks ago