Feeling Good About Norfolk

Yeah, you read that right. I don't know if it's the spirit of the New Year or what but I caught myself not feeling glum about America the other day. Regular readers probably think I hate the place and I don't, so it's time for some proportional representation!

Norfolk was just about the oddest experience of my life, and hopefully things will stay that way. Personal problems that usually have the good grace to come at separate times, to give you time to breathe, dovetailed a little too seamlessly into a period of about twelve months and I was completely overwhelmed. From the eye of the storm, I didn't like it much at all. But branches grow strong in windy conditions and diamonds are made under pressure. From this safe distance, I'm beginning to realize that I got a lot out of it.

There were plenty of laughs - if you count me laughing at my own jokes. I made friends that I'll never forget and wish I had the time to keep in contact with more regularly; I slept with some really nice people (plus one or two that were not-so-nice) and ticked a couple of boxes on my list of things to do before I'm 40; I started blogging; I saw Las Vegas, D.C., New York, Baltimore, Atlanta and Toronto (I missed New Orleans and ran out of cash before Boston and Seattle); and I got a kick out of simply living in unusual surroundings - regardless how redneck or under-developed they were.

Spiritually, intellectually and emotionally, I grew up. Professionally and medically, I overcame some adversity. Financially, I still have some work to do! I'm reminded of the hobo in The Two Ronnies who wears shoes two sizes too small for his feet because the only pleasure he has in life is the sensation of taking them off. I appreciate the little things at home now in a way I never would've if I'd not been deprived of them for 16 months. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, truly.

Next time I bash Smalltown, U.S.A. - and there will surely be a next time - bear this shit in mind.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think Norfolk is redneck? I'd recommend not visiting Florida unless it's Miami. Yee haw.

I'm glad nostalgia is kicking in. Best not to have regrets about stuff.

Blogger Mkae said...

Norfolk is SOOOOO not redneck. I've spent most of my life in the American midwest. When you hear banjos, run.

And yeah, I think a bit about Norfolk too. You're assessment was pretty spot on. There were many days I wish I was still there. Too bad most of the circle of friends has moved on as well.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

Maybe VA only scores a 2 on the redneck scale, but that's still 2 too redneck for me.

Remember the Big Buck Hunter video game in WonderBar? (Shoot deer for points.) Well, I saw "Big Buck Hunter 2: Sportsman's Paradise" in my home town this past weekend. Tell me it's not the new poker!!

Blogger Candace said...

Ha! You should try MI for some rednecks. This teensy town is fine, but a bit north of here - yowza! Well, then again, VA is kinda the South and I do remember some redneckky stuff driving throught (en route to NC.) I think that's where we encountered billboards for the "Mystery Spot." LOL! We decided it was the landing place for the "Mystery Hole" we passed in some other state I've forgotten.

Funny how it's easier to forget the bad than the good. :o) I can actually wax noatalgic about Air Force Basic Training now, though I still have nightmares about being back there.

Blogger thisismarcus said...

BTW count the high rise buildings in that picture: three and a bit. That's all of 'em!


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