Kathryn and I got out fairly early this afternoon, too early, really. The sun was gloriously white and bright and searing, but it was a bit much for Kathryn. Our forays will, from here on, be mainly morning and evening. But this is the light, the color, the sky that I know and that comforts me. The greens are the greens I have not seen – except for the short trip to New Orleans last summer – for the last six years (and two months). There's anxiety at being in places I've not been in a long, long time, the landscape of my childhood. Yes, there is that anxiety. But it is largely overcome by the rightness to my eyes and mind. This is a balm my soul has needed, and it will help me survive the next Providence winter.
We left Leeds on 411/25, driving into Moody, to find the little house where we briefly lived from sometime in 1967 until sometime in 1968. My mother doesn't recall the specific dates, but we were there over the winter. We had a Christmas there. I would have been three, but I have very clear memories of that place. I recall watching Dark Shadows. The Banana Splits, and Rocky and Bullwinkle while we lived there. Now, the house is a nail salon, or something of the sort. We stopped long enough for me to take a couple of photos (behind the cut, below).
Then, we took Markeeta Spur Road up to Whites Chapel Road to Roper Road, stopping by Cahaba Cove, the subdivision where we livd my last two years of high school (June 1980 – October 1982). I took photos, and maybe I'll post those later, but not now. We continued on into Trussville proper, about a mile and a half from the house at Cahaba Cove. I'd have finished high school in Trussville, if I hadn't have dropped out in April 1982, a month before graduation, taken the GED, and gone to college. The old high school building is still there, but Hewitt-Trussville high is now in a new location. I got out and Kathryn took some photos. Gods, I was miserable in that place. maybe not quite as miserable as I was during my first two years of high school in Leeds. But it was bad. The torment I endured from jocks and rednecks was epic. And yet, still, there is the weirdly bittersweet pang of nostalgia. I'm nostalgia's bitch, always. I stopped by the school sometime in 1983 to visit my old biology/pre-zoology instructor – one person there who was good to me. But that was thirty-one years ago now.
The house in Moody (right). View to the southeast.
Formerly Hewitt-Trussville High. View to the east.
Me, first time in thirty-one years...
Photographs Copyright © 2014 by Caitlín R. Kiernan and Kathryn A. Pollnac.
From Trussville, we went west into Roebuck, just back the Birmingham city limits. But it was a nightmare of consumerism, the stretch of Gadsden Highway between Trussville and Roebuck. What once was fields and a few houses has become an endless parade of strips malls. It was disheartening (that Arcade Fire song, "Mountains Beyond Mountains), and we headed back home earlier than I'd intended.
Now, I'm gonna go rest a bit. More tomorrow. Oh! I almost forgot the mention the amazing sky Kathryn and I were privy too near twilight yesterday, as we took a walk. There was a rainbow, and a thunderstorm had turned the sky vivid shades of pink. To the south, the sky was still storm dark, over the mountain. To the north, the sky was an almost unreal shade of blue, rather like a robin's egg, but deeper and of an almost neon intensity. And there were bats and swallows, and the air was filled with the summer drone of cicadas.
There are crows and horses everywhere. And we saw a rafter of turkeys today.
Hunted by American Dreams,