How Do You “Dis-own” Your Hometown?

It’s a simple question, really. It’s quite obvious that once I open my mouth that I’m not originally from the “city-so-nice-they-named-it-twice”. And unfortunately, I have great reason to not want to talk about where I was actually born and raised. Because although I occupied time there, I never really was FROM there. And no I don’t think I’m better than those that live there. I’m clearly just not one of THEM, and I no longer want to be. EVER.

After 17 years of “education”, it took less than twenty-four hours after I graduated high school to pack my stuff and move out of the family house. Over time, I incrementally moved further and further away, realizing that it wasn’t ME. In the world outside of the bubble, I’ve been able to accomplish many things that I had previously been told I’d have to wait my “turn” to attempt.

The inhabitants of the bubble have a core belief of superiority: the premise that since the bubble sits geographically between two major cities – those that were born there or migrate there magically are BETTER than the sum of both of those places. Really. They are also insanely proud of the major corporation, now defunct, that they believe was single-handedly responsible for winning both World Wars. The fact that they might be ridiculed by those outside the bubble evades them. You see, the bubble people never mention that their great corporation might have been headquartered in the namesake city, but that it had plant locations all over the eastern seaboard – where most of the production actually occured. And even if you then count the corporation as a whole, places like the Brooklyn Navy Yard would alone dwarf its efforts. OK, I promised a short explanation, but the “myth” over “reality” mentality remains status quo – decades after any real reason to function that way died its archaic death.

The story should have ended at 17-and-a-half for me, but it didn’t. Because of a vision I experienced fleeing Manhattan on September 11, 2001 – I felt compelled to go BACK. And yes, I learned the hard way that you can never go home again. So after a four-plus year purgatory (roughly the same time it takes a child to graduate high school), I subjected my family to the torture of the bubble people. Seriously, I am lucky my family did not kill me, because if you’re NOT a bubble person, you don’t find their behavior even remotely funny. A nice place to visit, but…

I will always be proud of my association with residents who do not share the bubble mentality, albeit a silent majority. I am quite proud that some of us tried like hell to prevent the “city leaders” from turning the place upside down – the epitome of why the term “economic development” actually means “legal rape and pillage” in this day and age. Although we were tragically unsuccessful (or were we?), I am also proud that I left town as a candidate for “Public Enemy Number One” of the bubble. Although my public attacks on the boy mayor – who’s alcohol abuse and promisciuty make Bill Clinton jealous – and the rest of the paid-off “officials” made me comic relief in the local papers, many of my laughed-at predictions back in 2005 have already come true. It might not have been the best idea to make fun of and piss off one of the (formerly) richest men in America, his pals, and their “vision”, but now that I’m holed-up in ”family” territory – I think I’m safe. Bubble people take their fantasy serious. Dead serious.

So although there are many fine people trapped under the bubble, they are unwilling and/or unable to leave or effect change. It seems that American Idol is more important than protecting their own quality of life or property values. But I look to the bright side: I had great teachers in elementary, junior, and high schools. The best pizza on the planet is STILL made there, and just a short walk away is a pretty cool movie theater. But that might be all that’s left on my list of things I love about the place.

So, back to my original question – How do you “dis-own” your hometown? Does it vary from state to state? Do I have to write the boy mayor a letter? Does he have some super-duper powers to officially sever my connection?

I might not have the solution, but I do have the words from the song Tiger, written by Paula Cole:

“…I’ve left Bethlehem, and I feel free…”

Now all I need is a new “hometown”.


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