Monday, August 20, 2007

About My Fascination with S.B.

Happiness is Lubbock Texas in my rearview mirror~Mac Davis
No matter what I say about South Buffalo, first and foremost I have stuck to this place beyond what is sane or reasonable. I wasn’t raised here and I’ve lived in other places as an adult. I’m not blinded by this attachment—no one would call me a Buffalo Booster; in fact I’m keenly aware how irrational my attachment is.

My grandmother has told me over and over that there is no better place to live than South Buffalo. She’s right for her. For me—there are much better places to live—much better economically, environmentally, culturally, aesthetically, and much better weather-wise. In fact in Buffalo, there are much better places to live than South. But I haven’t returned again and again like some sort of pig-headed homing pigeon to any of those places.

On the eve of her 25th wedding anniversary, my mother’s best friend Karen told me this about marriage: The man you would fall in love with at 22 is not the same man who you would fall in love with at 35. I’ve been in love at both ages—the relationship that stuck was with the man I fell in love with at 35. And I’m grateful. I’m glad not to be saddled with the man I fell in love with at 22 (nor he with me).

This is how it happened to me in love but not with the place I live.

In a town forged by steel, this place molded me at a young age and that imprint has lasted no matter where else I lived.

As a teenager growing up in Oregon, I imagined that my mother had stolen my brother and me off a ship and onto a small boat to go exploring: the places mom took us were fantastic better than that rusting old ship. Even as mom extended our adventures beyond my childhood, I would remind her: we belong on that ship and eventually we’ll need to go back.

And so we are.