Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mystic '06 (sounds like an energy drink)

I returned from Decatur county on Sunday with approximately 20 pounds of fresh produce; 6(!) eggplants, multiple ears of corn, tomatoes, okra, squash, zucchini, & cucumbers; a head of cabbage. I love it but it's a lot of pressure to receive this much stuff because it ROTS and you have to DO SOMETHING with it before it starts stinking up your fridge and all you're left with is the incredible guilt that your family's blood, sweat, and tears has come to ruin in a big runny mess in your crowded fridge. Last night I made moussaka, a dish that we had in Greece. I kind of bastardized these two recipes, substituting ground beef for turkey and adding a boatload of fresh basil, which is par for the course for most recipes I prepare these days. I think baba ganoush is next because I still have 4 eggplants! My mom has them coming out of her ears.

When I was home (even though I'm grown and I live with my husband and we have a whole separate existence, also referred to as "home," I think my mother's house will always be Home with a Capital H). I went for a run on the walking path she mows behind our house. I saw a rabbit and multiple deer, and as-yet unripe blackberries growing on stickery bushes; but I also saw myself, in the summer of 2006, walking down the same grassy strip, listening to PJ Harvey and experiencing the undeniable feeling that everything was changing. I have attached a lot of significance to 2006, particularly the summer, when I left Murfreesboro at long last and lived at home with my parents for 4+ months, watching my father first undergo a horrific surgery for pancreatic cancer and struggle to recover; he didn't, because the cancer was so aggressive and wanted to eat him from the inside out, and it did. I am incredibly grateful that I had those months with him, although considering it now, I can only think of the selfish parts of myself that was so restless and spent weekends in Nashville getting wasted and pursuing an old, bad relationship that gave me physical satisfaction and not much else.

2006 was the year I became a woman, though. I seriously believe this 100%. I was an uncertain, unhappy alcoholic kid at the beginning of it, and by the end I'd gotten my shit together. I lost things in 2006; I lost my father, I lost my first love, I lost my best friend, but I gained so much: the man who would become my husband, friends with whom I share a lot of love and respect with, and confidence and maturity.

I know that this probably sounds really egomaniacal. I'm not trying to show how great I am; growing up is just something people do, eventually. I feel like I was just in a fugue state for so many years, going to work at whatever shitty job I had, coming home to hit a bong or drink a lot of beers and '06 was the year I woke up and tried to change things for myself. When I thought of it in the hayfield the other day, with an identical sky over me, that light mist seeping over the landscape, I felt like I was back in time, in those days and weeks that I was waking up.


BetteDavisLies said...

I hear you. I get it. I love that feeling. All it takes for me is a drive down the main drag in Milan by the Lee's Famous Recipe Chicken and I'm back in memoryville, which, I should say, sounds pathetic when I'm up against the summer your daddy died, but you how much I understand you.


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