It was December, 1994. I had finished my one and only semester at South Broward High School in Dania, Florida. Because we were moving, my parents let me attend school with all my friends, instead of going to Chaminade-Madonna, the Catholic High school I had been accepted to. Over the Christmas break, we – my mother and father, sister and beagle – moved the four hours to Altamonte Springs, where we lived in my father’s one bedroom apartment for roughly one month while the house buying procedures were churned through, settled, unsettled, then finalized.
The very first day that they took us to see our new home, I was wearing my favorite clothes at the time: a pair of jeans with flannel patches on the knees, my Guns and Roses t-shirt, and my black Nikes with the purple swoosh. On my Walkman, I listened to Pearl Jam, Black. We pulled up to the house, at the end of a cul-de-sac (“People get killed in cul-de-sacs,” someone at school told me) and I was feeling so out of place. The neighbourhoods down south were all straight grid streets, named by presidents and intersected by numbers. In central Florida, everything is winding and covered in trees and named after trees; our street name was Lonesome Pine.
We wandered through this big empty house, full of light and windows, Mexican tile and archways. It was so the polar opposite of our little house – the only one I had ever known. I remember feeling, as the vast emptiness of what would be my new home filled me, that the song embodied my emotions. I was an angsty almost 15 year old, full of rage, hormones and fear. As we drove away, I looked on the streets for kids my age; possible friendships. I was scared and alone. I don’t think my friendships were ever the same after I moved away from my childhood home of 14 years.
And now my bitter hands cradle broken glass
Of what was everything?
All the pictures have all been washed in black, tattooed everything.