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The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This might have been what she meant.

Hello, my old country, hello!

Now more than ever I feel I'm in a country of chasers and dreamers, and youth, and a sprinkling of the other extreme. Ones who were already broken and lived to tell their fathers about it. Maybe that's selfish. Maybe I let my own standing in youth and in life reflect in the way I see something so important. But at least I'm not a cynic. Whenever I can arrive to a conclusion honestly without feeling cynical about it, I mark it as a victory.

And the tilt of this strange nation
And the will to remain for the duration
Wavin' the flag
Feelin' it drag

Still though. There's a sadness to this country. I can feel it in the way I breathe out as she breathes in. It's not for her condition, not for the people that she harbors and shelters. It's for her own mind, heart, hands, ornaments. My country is an heirloom. A lot of people here want to be sad. That is okay. It's their right to be sad if that's what they really want to be. But for once it's more of the place than the people that surround me now.

Like a bump on a bump on a log, baby

I think it would do me a disservice to romanticize the place too much, but damn, and damn, and just godDAMN it's such a good headache. It's a place that can be memorized as well as rediscovered. You can start with it, you can end with it, and you're probably better off somewhere else even if you don't want to be. It's safe to be a kid here, even when you can't afford to anymore. It's safe to be irrational, as long as you know who to trust. It's safe to be delusional. It's safe to control your own destiny. She was right when she told you that you control your own emotions, you know.

I'm in a place where I can make my fantasy as I would a box, and lock myself inside. Quarantined in my own dreams. And I can rage. Oh, like hell I can rage. Because if I ever broke this box I wouldn't know what to do with myself. Though I'm comforted by the fact that I never will. I rage comfortably. You too.

***

Well, I saw straight away that the lay was steep
But I fell for you, honey, as easy as falling asleep
And that right there is the course I keep

She was the beginning to the best stretch of time in my life. She had introduced me to some of the best friends I'd ever had, long gone now, but never her fault. She had brown, unoffensive hair and a soft accent. She was no Great Gatsby person, that's for sure - she was a Catcher in the Rye person through and through. The blush. The freckles. It was too much for me, even then.

I tried to do the whole diploma mill thing. I tried new cities, a whole bunch of literature. I made art. I criticized art. I made money. I criticized...well...

I challenged myself. I was kind when I could afford to be, I was proud when I needed to be. I did what I could. Then I did what I had to. Life was some keychain souvenir, some good luck charm that usually held my attention.

She said I'm feeling much more romantic than that, baby

There were times I was definitely sub-conscious, but it didn't entirely feel like I was sleeping. I felt wide awake as soon as I would snap into reality. But I was clearly not in reality at the time. I guess it would be best described as a hypnotic state, but uncontrolled by anyone else. Though, there were still dreams. My dreams here were more active. I had better control. They were easier to remember. Most of them were of her.

And nah, it wasn't worth it at all, baby
Or at least Not for Me

To this day, she is the one that I would drop everything for and follow. Blindly. I'm slowly chasing her as it is. I think I'm afraid of what I'll see, of what she's found in life since I was long forgotten. There are certain advantages to parting ways without leaving any contact information, but god it hurts with some of them. It's the only way we can really make something special in our country. It's our strongest motivation. Hunger. But hunger hurts. It really, really fucking hurts.

And it's my heart, not me, who cannot drive
At which conclusion you arrived
Watching me sit here bolt upright and cry
For no good reason at the Eastering sky

And that right there is where we are...

***

If you've never been here, and you should ever feel the urge to come here, don't visit one damn city for a week and go home. You have to hit the road here. Go south. It's beautiful. You don't have to stay there. You shouldn't. But it's both preserved and very scarred. Go to the Northeast. It's tighter, the food is worse, the transportation is better, the accents are different. It has history, it has pulse. It's pretty windy. Go West. You can even go too far if you want. Double back. Make circles. Try to find something, or don't. Keep moving. Hole up for months. Get lost. Get a job. Sleep on the streets. Sleep in the penthouse. Talk to people, and listen. Watch the sunrises. Wait for the sunsets. It's important. Nothing here was made to stand still, especially not life.

All the way to the thing we've been playin' at, darlin
I can see that you're wearing your staying hat, darlin

I know travel. It's the only time I ever feel myself anymore. It's the only way I've really gotten to know myself. It'll leave you discouraged, noticing everything that's staying put when you're the one moving. You'll see a lot of dying things. It's important. You have to understand youth, and what it will turn into. Nobody has to see the way it changes, nobody wants to. Just what it becomes.

And I did not mean to shout, just drive
Just get us out, dead or alive
A road too long to mention, lord it's something to see
Laid down by the good intentions paving company

And that's where we find our biggest problem in my country. We are unresolved. Most of the dreamers here are fine with that, to them the love is just a part of the chase. The answers to them do not matter as much as the questions. That is admirable, and that is vital. That is as strong as life itself.

This is blindness beyond all conceiving

But I don't think I want that anymore. I don't want to wait until I've lost my youth before I get her. I don't care if I break this box or not. It doesn't matter if I'm not ready for it. Because it feels like I've been here for a long long time.

Well, behind us the road is leaving, yeah, leaving

To tell the truth my country is a quiet, sad sunset. It's falling on a rusty, tattering barn, growing ivy. You know, she was also right when she told you that life grinds down. It'll make you feel sentimental as you stand there, watching it decay. It really will. And you're not sick for it either.

And falling back
Like a rope gone slack

But even the death of youth is a discovery. My country is like stumbling upon an old, ransacked room in an abandoned lodge. Old novelties scattered throughout the floor, linens tattered and torn. It makes you want to spend the night here as you roam the wastes. There's a fragile orange glow through the window. It's not the days that are so long this time of year. The days are about the same. It's the evenings that get longer and longer. The sunsets. The big sky, the tired buildings, the tired dreams. They get longer and longer. And we will celebrate our independence, even if we do know what it means. Or at least I will. Because I really do want to know the destination now, I tire of the journey. It's more important than being happy. It's more important than this box. Resolve, my country.

And for once I'm not here just to feel the journey
I'm ready for resolution baby
Even though I am sure you'll say I haven't begun
That's none of your love and you know it, my little stitchling
If we were so easy it would be a burden
It's not understandable and hell, why would it
It's a fortunate rival or an available cradle
We were lucky just to be at home on our cables
If limbs were a dime a dozen I'd have taken more chances
Been roped into love and I'd had made those advances
But I'm ready to wait with my eyes not with my fingers
It's assembling madly before me

They're assembling madly before me

***

And in our quiet hour I feel I see everything
And am in love with the hook upon which everyone hangs
And I know you meant to show the extent to which you gave a goddang
You ranged real hot and real cold, but I'm sold -- I am home on that range
And I do hate to fold right here at the top of my game
When I've been trying with my whole heart and soul to stay right here in the right lane
But it can make you feel over and old, lord, you know it's a shame
When I only want for you to pull over and hold me 'till I can't remember my own name

----------------------------------------------------

...it is life. It is a very good song. It will be tempting to let your mind linger on the last few lines. But don't. Choose instead to enjoy the outro. Because it doesn't last very long.

.

Thank you, and you(RIP), and you, and you. And more embarrassingly, you. Also you, sort of, even if you helped me accidentally. Everyone else got credited somewhere.

Some of the interpolated lyrics are mine. These ones. Respect them. I do not make any copyright claim to hers.

Happy fourth.

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