DAY 12 – LANCASTER, PA
We woke up, late as usual, especially me since I’m always up late working on this shit, and headed out of town. Destination: Lancaster, PA, my hometown, and well, Harrisburg, where my mother lives. We said goodbye to the beach, which definitely had a cleansing effect, provided me with a little mental clarity. Whenever life gets really hectic my mind always wanders and lands on a coast. I prefer the Atlantic, but the Pacific has given me a break at times in my life as well. Needless to say, I was extremely sad to say goodbye. I couldn’t shake the thought that I would be perfectly content to live out the rest of my life in Fenwick Island. I guess I’m a beach bum at heart.
The drive to Lancaster should have taken about 2 1/2 hours, but ended up taking 4. I really wanted to drive the route my mother used to take to the beach and back home but Google Maps wasn’t having it. I did the best I could to take some of the scenic roads and it seemed like Josh appreciated the rolling farmland scenery that filled our windows. Upon arrival, very late, I drove to some key locations from my life and filmed. I wanted to make a short, a kind of love letter to Lancaster filled with very personal images, set to music that I created. We drove past my High School, the house I grew up in, down city streets and back farm roads on which we used to drive and smoke weed. But it wasn’t the type of revelatory experience I maybe thought it was going to be. I think maybe I’ve been gone too long, changed too much. It may be at a point where the emotional residue of my experience has washed off of these places, or maybe I was just too tired to catch it. I did get lost in thought in front of the house I grew up in, and there were certainly some memories that hadn’t come up in a very long time that became very present, I could feel the events again. I lived in them briefly and softly before realizing my age and purpose at this moment in time. I called my grandmother during one of these excursions to different places around town to let her know I would be late seeing her. She was cool with it. After recording the shot overlooking the entire valley I had an idea to call the sister of an ex-girlfriend/best friend to see if I could swing by and see her and her kids, since I know she lived close to where we were. I was very close with the family and still maintain contact with them, even when I’ve lost contact with pretty much everyone else I grew up with that still lives here. She is still the same, laid back, great sense of humor, and it was unbelievable to see how much her kids have grown. It really caused me to put the passage of time in perspective, since sometimes I forget how long it’s been, and their growth provided me with a reference point from my youth to now. After we left we shot over to my Grandmas place to spend a little time with her.
My grandmother is 87 years old and my only living grandparent, so I like to see her and stay in touch. She is certainly set in her ways, has specific views on specific things and is how should I say, very biblical, which is cool, just not my bag. I kind of just let her talk, add a thing or two here and there, nothing about technology, she doesn’t care, and I think this is probably what she wants, someone to just listen. After a short time there we head over to my mother’s place in Harrisburg, which we didn’t explore at all. The place isn’t important to me except that my mother lives there, and we really didn’t have the time. We sat down, ate an amazing Italian dinner, Josh went and passed out and I got to work on the site until early the next morning. It’s always good to see my mother, albeit a little stressful, and I know she wishes she could see more of me, I just live thousands of miles away and we aren’t exactly members of the jet set. She is an amazing woman and we have been through so much together. I owe everything to her and unconditional love and support for me. I awoke to see a picture of me as a child, my mother, godmother Beverly, and late godfather Ron, sitting on the coffee table next to the couch I slept on. I snapped a picture. Josh and I grabbed backpacks with a few days worth of shit and essentials, and my mom dropped us off at the train station. Off to New Yawk.