Do you ever get the sense that your life was supposed to unfold in a certain way, and include certain people, but something happened to completely derail that and now you’re just floundering and flailing in a vain attempt to get by in the wreckage of what otherwise would be the life that you were supposed to have, an imposter living a lie in your own life?
My brain has been trying to do this to me on and off since last summer, when certain events sent my brain back down memory lane. I *know* what happened really *was* the best case scenario, as far as I am concerned personally. Other people weren’t so lucky, even if they eventually got out ok. (And no, this is not about the Matrix Cult. This came way before that.)
But still. My brain still is trying to convince me that the summer that year would have totally kicked ass. That we would have spent the time at each other’s houses the way we had been doing the previous nine months, and that nothing would have changed, except that we would have learned more, grown stronger in our knowledge of the occult and Magick, and come out the other side as inseparable badasses ready to fight against the forces of darkness. (Basically, an Invisibles cell. None of us had read The Invisibles yet in 1994, but that was pretty much what we were aiming for.)
Like I said, what happened really was the best thing that could have happened. It happened, and I went on to have other experiences and actually live the life I have lived since then.
But what really, really sucks is that I can’t revisit very many of the places we used to go...because they’re not there anymore. Now it’s just a bunch of dead storefronts and urban blight. No one cares enough about that part of Garland enough to try and save it. The craft store is gone. The water park is gone. Most of the restaurants are gone. The flagship Wal Mart Superstore is still there - but now those are everywhere (and anyway, Wal Mart is the devil.) The theater is still there - Dallas’s first multiplex. It’s a shadow of its former self, and it is now a second run theater (though I still go sometimes to see stuff, and may even do so Friday.) The hippie flea markets (both of them) are either long dead or still dying, and have been since the aughts.
I still have memories, and the knowledge that what happened probably was “the thing that was supposed to happen.” I did not get stuck in an abusive relationship with a sexual predator and professional manipulator and gaslighter for years. I got out, even if I was thrown out. I was lucky.
Somedays I still have to work to convince myself that this is the case.
ETA, 4/4/2017: Well, I went back. And they actually are fixing the area up a little, or at least making it less dead. There is a 24 hour gym being built on the site where Mervyn's used to be. I'm still a little salty that the bookstores are gone, the craft store was replaced by a Big Lots, the water park was leveled and replaced by a car dealership, and the family-owned Mexican restaurants and Chinese restaurants we used to frequent have been replaced by chain restaurants - but the little dive bar is still going strong, and the Cinemark Hollywood Dollar Theater+restaurant probably has the best food offerings in the area anyway. I'm going to try the little dive bar out soon and see (when the events I was vagueblogging about last week occurred, none of us were of legal drinking age. :) So, here's to nostalgia. Sometimes things really do turn out for the best.