January 4, 1999. 11:42. She enters the world kicking and screaming, all 8 pounds and 13 ounces. The state is New Jersey. From that moment on, nothing is the same, but all is as it was.
I watched the world through light brown eyes, under curly, hazelnut hair, and from a short stature. New Jersey was home for all seventeen years of my life thus far. I could see it all, and from a younger point of view, it was all I would ever need to see.
I am writing this from a corner in a Barnes & Noble in my hometown. I’ve been coming here since I was a wee little lass. Story times, first books, secret crushes, gallons of iced passion tea lemonade, the scent of paper, the sound of rushing cars on a nearby highway, the feeling of holding a brand new book in my young hands. All of these things make up the anatomy of my youth in this one building. The four walls that house thousands of books have seen so much of the world, from english teachers, to Vietnam War veterans, and even rock stars (cough, cough, Mikey Way).
In my young life, that Barnes & Noble has always been a stable place, my one spot. No matter how strange things got, no matter who I decided to be that week, that store was always there for me to get lost in for an hour or two. Now that I’m getting older, it’s scary to think that I will be leaving it all behind soon. There will be another spot to hold me together, another set of aisles to roam, another specialty, far-to-expensive drink to fill my veins. It is a bittersweet feeling, but I know it’s all for the better.
So while I won’t know what it feels like to be in this new spot during a thunderstorm to end all storms, or cracking up with my friends while attempting to learn Latin in the kids section, I know that there are a million and a half new memories to make wherever this feather of a soul lands.
BUT I CAN’T LEAVE IT AT THAT SO HERE’S A SONG ALL REMINISCENT ABOUT THIS JERSEY LIFE