A Change of Heart and Home

Driftwood, Texas is no New York City. But for better or worse, it was my home for 18 years until I moved to Boston for my undergraduate studies. I have lived the majority of my life in the house that my father built. This year my return home during Christmas and New Years was not what I anticipated. I expected to have a relaxing and enjoyable time, but I was left bored more than anything else.

While it was nice seeing my family a few friends from high school, I spent the majority of my time trying to keep myself occupied on our 10-acre plot of land, while holding onto what little sanity remained after the majority of it was ripped from my soul by the Journalism School.

While it feels good to be back in New York City, I cannot shake the feeling that for the first time in my life Texas no longer feels like home. It’s sad, but I guess its just a sign that I’m changing as a human being. Even as I change, I still maintain some of the characteristics of my youth. As my father always says, “You can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”

Mother Nature has a way of cleansing herself through disaster. In the case of my family, Onion Creek – named for the wild green onions that grow its’ banks – will flood, destroying whatever gets in its path. I’ve witnessed flood waters carry away livestock, cars and homes, throwing them around like they were toys. Now a flood of emotions overtake me in the new decade as I finish my latest journey and start a new one. Where I’ll finally wash up is still to be determined.

Debris from years of flooding.
Debris depositing after years of flooding.
Onion Creek marks the southern boundary of our property line.

Two Roomies and a Typewriter

A couple of nights ago, my roommate Rick and I were drinking beer when we decided to whip out my typewriter, a 1964 Smith Corona Classic 12. Light Blue. Full manual. Rick and I are both writers – him the creative nonfiction type and me the reporter – so we decided to collaborate on an impromptu piece of creative journalism.

I started typing to show him how to use the metal brute. After a couple of quick lines, I plopped the typewriter in his lap.

it;s so he avy this typewriter
doyou want to put it on the floor.
nnah. it feels good.

Clacking keys on a manual typewriter is unlike any other form of writing. You realize the struggles that plagued writers of the past. Typing isn’t smooth and fluid like on a keyboard, it’s a pecking frenzy that leaves your hands twisted as they try and keep up with your mind.

Occasionally you’ll miss a space or hit half a letter in the quest to complete a sentence. But let the fingers warm up and watch the words pop as steel slaps ink on a page.

There is no delete key, only a backspace which can be used to turn r’s to n’s and p’s to g’s. When you screw up bad enough, you have to rip out the page and start anew. No wonder writers of the past were so damn good. One draft is never enough. The rewriting process is decided by the nature of the machine. Continue reading “Two Roomies and a Typewriter”