January 3, 2002 11:33 pm
It’s amazing how you can sum up a life in one written page. Not that it’s restricted to the space, itself, but to the limitation on how one sums it up. My name is Joshua Gamon, I’m about to turn 23, and I’m about to live my life for the first time. Some of you have heard of me, some of you know me; others have yet to experience who I am. For those who I love, you know the story up to now…but I invite you to peel back the layer that is my subconscious and pear into my inner most thoughts written candidly for the very first time. Consider it an invitation into my heart rather than those cool calculated words I hide behind. Some of you may know me by name alone, but you haven’t seen the child behind the man… the one who yearns to be loved by another soul. As for the rest… you may never know me at all, but this stream of unconscious is for you as well. Hello and welcome to myself.
I understand that I am not the easiest person to get along with. Born as a single child within a troubled marriage, my life has been more or less one-sided. I have experienced the spoils that come with being an only child; I have yet to truly understand the complications of another sibling or two. My life never consisted of sharing much of anything… let alone my inner most thoughts. I claim to be open and honest with just about anyone I meet, but am I truly that honest? Is anyone? Am I even honest to myself? I’m about to leave for college once again, to my college of choice called Towson University, but I keep convincing myself that I want to become a professor… to exchange knowledge with each and every class. But am I using that as an excuse to convince myself I know what I want from life? Do I want to dictate the language of dead poets for the rest of my life? Or does the temptation of role-playing as an educator or playing the role of the wise old sage attract me into a position of power? I look back on all of the teachers I had throughout my life, both inside and outside the classroom, and the vast majority did inspire me to achieve fulfilling my dreams of love, life, and the pursuit of happiness. Going to school to become an educator does sound so appealing, and for the first time in my life, I will be sharing something much more meaningful with a group of students who I would adopt as my own year after year, knowledge. Who knows, maybe there will be that one single child out there who I will inspire for the better? If I can reach just that one student throughout my entire career, then maybe all of my upcoming hard work will be worth it?
- Joshua Gamon
January 4, 2002 12:05 am
The first minutes of the new day creep by like the heartbeats I’ll never have back. If everything was going according to my plan, my car would have been packed up tight with just about everything I own, and I would have begun my twenty-hour car trip up the American east coast from Florida to Maryland to my first apartment; unfortunately, fate was upstaged by Mother Nature this time around. Most of the southern states have been assaulted by an unusual ice storm leaving me to my own devices for a couple more days. Maybe this is fate’s way of telling me something? I know I won’t be challenging those ice storms any time soon. I’ve hardly experienced weather under 60 degrees here in Florida let alone master winter driving conditions. Now I have a few more days before I leave… if the storm resides, otherwise, I’m not sure when I can leave. Is this a foreshadowing of things to come? If so, the outcome looks grim.
January 4, 2002 8:53 pm
It’s a Friday night, and I’m alone tonight. No one calls; no one knows I’m still here. I’m like a ghost floating around within this purgatory of West Palm Beach. The snowstorm is relentless further north, and my remaining days left behind become more fleeting by the keystroke. I spent the majority of the day finding ways to kill the mediocrity of my social life, or just lack thereof, by getting my hair cut for the last time down here, buying a ten-disc CD changer for my car as an earlier birthday gift from my mom, and preparing dinner for her with the aid of a broken stove… some chicken concoction over pasta. The thirty-minute meal went well past the two-hour mark. Exciting, I know.
I spent the remainder of my day lost within my own thoughts. Why would today be different than any other? I spend more time with my head in the clouds than tackling the tasks at hand. My thoughts are always on the past… like an aged movie reel from your high school biology class, the footage playing in mind repeats itself with so much distortion that it’s hard to differentiate the fact from the fiction—when fact ends my imagination begins. I become a victim of my own phobias… distinct fears of my past failures I have yet to truly learn from: love, friendships, and the fine line between both. When does one let go? My mind and heart are not in synch with each other. They work against each other like a saw against the grain… slightly tearing away at the delicate work. My mind has moved on, but my heart refuses to let go. It’s like a candle burning ever so slowly. I’m slightly terrified to let that fire burn out… I guess I follow my heart; not my mind. Love will be the emotion to keep me going; love will be the force of nature that will destroy me. You cannot defy your fate. You can only embrace it with open arms.
- Joshua Gamon
January 5, 2002 4:29 pm
I spent a lot of time talking to my upcoming roommate last night on AOL’s Instant Messenger. She is a very nice girl but sad. The more I learn about her; the more I realize that she is a reflection of myself. Did the forks in our road of life converge onto one path? Does fate have something in store for us, or are our parallel lives a mere coincidence in the greater scheme of things? The similarities in our depressions, the ideologies of our lives, and the history of problems within our families—what else can it be besides fate? Maybe I’m just seeing things for the first time… that it’s possible that there are other sensitive people out there experiencing the same emotional hardships as mine? Maybe she’ll be the first to understand where I’m coming from? Maybe things will become a little more complicated?
- Joshua Gamon
January 6, 2002 2:52 pm
Through the looking glass I see a shadow of my former self. You cannot hold a shadow. You can only observe it through the absence of light, and it’s always there within an arm’s reach. Everything that made me, me has long been overshadowed by the person I am now. A friend of mine use to like me because of my personality… now I hardly make her laugh anymore. It all came naturally for me for back then. We used to feed off each other, feed off each other’s polar opposite personalities, and the chemistry was there. Things were very different then. How I miss those days. I think of her often, and I love her dearly. We’re close friends now and I wouldn’t have it any other way, but if old feelings for each other were to resurface again in the near or distant future… then how would I be able to say no? But a thing like that only happens in the movies. This is real life…the hero doesn’t always get the girl in the end. No big musical numbers, no riding off in the sunset, no ninety minutes to resolve the problem, just a slow fade to black as the spotlight slowly recedes into nothing. And then there is darkness…
I’ve been arguing with my mom for the last two days, over trivial shit, but the fighting did little to put me in a better mood when I need the support the most. The good news is I finally have a date to leave this hellhole. I leave this Tue. As I told my friend earlier today, it’s so frustrating having to put your life on hold. I want to leave, to get on with my life, but my cabin fever has been blazing out of control. I need to leave. I sit here on the edge of eternity waiting for my second chance at life. Tuesday I’ll get that chance.
- Joshua Gamon
January 8, 2002
Tonight I’m writing from a hotel room from somewhere within South Carolina; 517 miles into my sojourn, and only a slight hair past the midway point. I am almost there. The anticipation is like beads of icy cold water dripping down my spine; it tingles. Yesterday was like walking that green mile you only hear about in movies. Step after hollow step echoed across the shores of West Palm Beach like woeful cries begging for me to stay. Alas, I knew, my fate rested upon the open roads of America. Not there. I mentioned before that I was fighting with my mother. That, like all of the other times, mended itself as time trickled into nothing—that nothing was the void I now left in her house. By the end of the day, we were a family again. But that, of course, depends on the definition of ‘family’ you use.
The sojourn into the unknown is what adventure is all about. Among my friends, I dreamt of adventure the most. I spent the majority of my childhood reading novels about dragons and magic, men who can fly, and damsels in distress. Now the adventures I craved so much have come true: the open road, driving up the coast, hotel rooms, roommates, a brand new school, and everything in-between. Twenty-four hours from now I will be knee deep in unpacking my mobile room into a new place I will call home, and home is where the heart is.
- Joshua Gamon
January 10, 2002
The very notion of being on my own terrifies the living shit out of me. I have so much to say I honestly don’t know where to begin. The trip was long and hard. After the first day’s travel, it seemed like the road trip would never end. When the destination appeared within an arm’s reach, the distance multiplied into triple digits, and minutes turned into another three hours of driving. The celestial beauty of South Carolina was the visual high point of the trip; the asphalt labyrinths of Maryland were definitely the low point. I did this trip twice now. I pray for it to be my last.
The apartment was not at all what I initially expected. The neighborhood is composed of red brick buildings; an architecture beauty I always admired, and the apartment itself is actually larger than many I’ve seen. I just haven’t decided yet if my new room is larger or a little smaller than my last one. It’s definitely narrower but longer. I have the same size bed as before, so I quickly rearranged the room to remind me of home. The previous roommate left his furniture behind—now I know why. I meet my first neighbor as I was walking in. He definitely looked like your West Palm Beach variety, so maybe I should add another deadbolt lock to the door? The living room is huge, but there’s really not a whole lot to it, and I have a pretty nice view of the parking lot. The heater works and I haven’t seen one cockroach, so I would say this place is actually very nice. I’m happy with it. I just wish I could rid of this creeping feeling of someone breaking in and stealing all of my stuff. I guess my paranoia will always be by my side… which reminds me—get another deadbolt for the door.
I really like my roommate. She’s actually very nice. We were very shy at first, but I treated us to some dinner. That served as the perfect icebreaker. We spent the remainder of the night just talking about our experiences with love and heartbreak, people that dicked us over, our mistakes, and about fate. She laughs at all of my jokes, too. What more can I ask for? I actually enjoy her company. Tomorrow we’re going shopping for boots for a karaoke party we’re going to. Then she’s gonna give me the tour of my new neighborhood—maybe even drop by the school newspaper and apply for a job. Oh yeah, before I forget, I have to get another deadbolt for the door.
- Joshua Gamon
January 11, 2002
So ends my first official day here in my new apartment in Baltimore, Maryland. I might be crazy, but I actually find a disturbing peace here—a peace on the border of uneasiness. The uneasiness comes with the disorientation of being in a new and strange land, but the peace comes from the fact that I call this strange land my new home. My roommate and I spent the first day together driving around the neighborhood. I ran into some of my old haunts from a few months back, and I can easily ease back into my old routines of comic book stores and Chinese food in a heartbeat.
On another note, I am in total awe of my roommate. We spent the last couple of hours just talking about fate and life. I was hanging on her every word; I found it all so captivating… I couldn’t draw away even for a second. I like her. She’s actually one of the nicest and real persons I’ve ever met, and I live with her. We can easily become close friends in time. I think we’re already off to an amazing start. Everything’s working out perfectly, but I don’t want to jinx anything. I also introduced the concepts of auras and energy fields to her—how you can feel pulsating energy flow between two persons between their hands. I think it was enlightening, but it kinda spooked her. Her energy is powerful. I can definitely feel it flow from her fingertips. Let’s see where it goes from there.
January 12, 2002
Now I know why it’s hard for me to make friends—I’m too damn shy. No, not shy. I’m too passive when it comes to being myself. I’ve played the duel roles of the class clown and quiet, wise sage throughout my entire life. When it comes to love, I don’t want to play the role of the old wise sage… what wisdom do I have to cast down from the mountain? I’ve been straight-edge my whole life, I’ve experienced more heart break than happiness, but that doesn’t mean I’ve learned enough to play that role. I have more fun making people laugh than preaching the school of hard knocks. But my sense of humor has become more somber within the last few years of my life. Why? What’s holding me back from my older personality? Maturity? I have matured to the point of being boring? Can’t I just lose myself in ridiculous splendors of my youth? I use to run myself into neatly piled CD towers just to get a few laughs. I just can’t picture myself falling back into that old routine. Can I find a happy medium then? Is there a way for me to play both roles, balancing humor with wisdom, or am I heading down a road of mediocrity? Will my new role be that of a tag-a-long? Someone who sits in the backseat of a car watching the road beneath me pass, content with the fact that I’m doing anything at all outside of productive, and come up with those ill-witted one-liners falling on deaf ears? The very thought of that sends shivers up and down my spine. I guess I'm just wishing my roommate knew the old me...I feel like I'm just giving her the wrong impression..
January 13, 2002
Today is my birthday, but you wouldn’t be able to tell thanks to those I considered my close friends back home. Not a single email. Not one phone call. Nothing. Silence. These are my close friends? I now would call them admissible at best. To all of you who were so kind enough to totally ignore your friend on his birthday, all alone in Baltimore, I extend one long crooked middle finger to you all with a much deserved ‘fuck you.’ Thanks for nothing.
January 14, 2002
The dull blade of routine has quickly bested the adventure I yearned for so badly. Now I impatiently wait for school to begin, and the anticipation burns with the radiance of a thousand super novas. I spent the better part of my morning becoming acquainted with the campus, not as an admirer like before, but this time as a student. I know for a fact that a larger campus doesn’t necessarily mean a ‘grander college experience.’ I spent an hour driving around campus looking for a place to park without a required permit, another hour looking for a copy machine to photocopy my required parking information only to realize that the one accessible machine to the public was broken, and another hour looking for one that did work. Of course, I had to drive off campus to use the one at the public library, but this story doesn’t have a happy ending. With my ill-fated luck, I needed a recent record of my car registration. The one I spent three hours dealing with expired long ago. Needless to say, whatever patience I had left at the point was thrown up against the wall of the parking garage with the rest of my chocolate-chip cookie. I would love to scream at the top of my lungs, but I don’t think my new neighbors would dig that too much.
- Joshua Gamon
January 16, 2002
It took me one week, but I have finally settled into my new life. It was off to a little rocky start, but I gradually eased into my new life style. I was mortally afraid of being on my own in the beginning, but now I consider it one of my greatest achievements thus far. I am on my own, but this sojourn into to, what I have now called ‘the wild,’ has been the greatest adventure of them all. Sure, things may have eased back into routine, but I have learned now that it doesn’t mean it’s for the worse. Despite being alone up here, I’m actually having fun. And the greatest realization of them all is I am not alone. I met up with some old friends from my past, reconciled with my aunt and cousin, and the job at the Towson University newspaper is as good as mine. Yes, things did indeed have a rocky start, but all of my initial fears have vanished. Tomorrow, I will have my school orientation, and it's all looking good from here.
January 19, 2002
Today marks a milestone in my life: today is my first snowstorm. I woke up to an ocean of white snow as far and as wide as the eye can see. Part of me wants to run downstairs and become lost in my childlike wonderment, build a snowman grander than anyone before me, and just lie down on the gentle blanket of white and allow the snowflakes to shallow me whole. What a sight that would make.
January 19, 2002
I spent the entire day indoors, today; content with just knowing that today’s snowstorm will not be my last. The news report warns of an upcoming snowstorm of an even greater threat: ice, sleet, and hail. If there was one lesson I have learned since I my sojourn into the wild, is that my Baltimore driving experiences have been far worse than anything I have ever experienced in West Palm Beach. The mere thought of adding an ice storm into the equation does little to relinquish my fear of challenging both the drivers and weather at the same time. But my provisions are becoming scarce within the apartment. Sooner rather than later, I will eventually have to venture forth into the wild on its own terms, face the trails of mastering the winter driving conditions, and finally except that I am not always in control of the road. If I choose not to starve, I must soon learn to adapt to the ways of my new home, or I will be the one that will be bested by Mother Nature.