Getting out

I went to New York over the weekend to watch Federer beat Monfils and hang out with my hilarious and awesome friend Elysia. It reminded me how much I love New York City, but also, because I grew up with Elysia in Richmond, how much I used to yearn to "get out." 

In all of my aw-shucks-ma'am pastoral lionizing and country-living nostalgia, I often forget that when I was a 17-year-old in Goochland County, Virginia, I used to ride my horse down to the railroad tracks that hug the James River and look up and down them, wondering when the day would come that I would get to leave. 

I'm out now and busy looking back, and I don't think it's such a bad thing to remember what a hurry I was once in to get out into the world. Otherwise, I think I'm at risk of falling into that nauseating trap so many of us country kids have to romanticize our childhoods at the expense of reality. 

Maybe it’s just that all Southerners, even those of us who have done all we can to stamp it out, are fatally afflicted with some degree of moony sentimentality which makes it hard for us to shut up about how homesick we are.
— Tracy Thompson

(Less romantically: This particular set of railroad tracks is in Charlottesville, just behind the Corner. We used to jump them to get from GrandMarc over to Coupe's. I hear they will soon be fencing them off and this antiseptic, overly-safe move makes me sad for the delightfully foolish futures of other dumb UVA kids. Here is Michelle on a summer Sunday in C'ville, looking like she's wistfully negotiating the moments of our past, but probably looking for the spot we once took a black-out selfie of ourselves throwing up hook-'em horns after a boozy 20th birthday party.)