My brother Aaron is going to the MTC on Wednesday. This is the second brother I have that has gone. I don't think Mike will be going, although he talks about it all the time. I secretly hope that little Jake will end up being a punk rocker and ditch Christ. Becca is already married, and Liz looks like she could be soon. Aaron's going to the Minneapolis, Minnesota area to be a missionary. I guess I am supposed to go on Wednesday to the whole intake thing they have there at the MTC, since it is officially the last time I will see him until he gets back in two years.
Fuck the MTC. I remember that shit from when my brother Nathan was entering. It was a huge emotional ordeal for my family, like saying goodbye to someone right before they get on the bus and head out to bootcamp. Except this way, the fella that's leaving isn't hungover. The thing that's funny to me is that I'm headed off, too. After a pal's wedding on Aug. 31, I am out the door, out the town, out the state! I have had enough of Provo, Utah for the rest of this year, and a chunk of next one, too. So I am getting out again. I'm fed up with living here, treading water, making no progress in anything. I'm switching pirate crews for awhile. However, my departure is not going to be preceded by a three hour finale with speakers, songs, prayers, official representatives, photographs, or even tearful goodbyes. I know I'll just end up slunking off to the Greyhound, a full pack on my back, and a coffee cup in my hand. My ceremony for leaving Utah is as follows: Going to the grocery store alone, buying some peanut butter, raspberry jelly, a loaf of vegan bread (no honey, sodium stearoyl lactylate, lactic acid, or ominously sourced mono- and diglycerides, please). Then I'm checking off the rest of the stuff on my list. Waiting for something to go wrong. I'll be hangin' with some friends while they smoke a spliff or drink a beer. I'll drink coffee. I pick a book that I will struggle to read while I'm on the bus. I usually end up reading zines instead, but I don't know why that is. Maybe because it's easier to follow an interview than a plot of a novel or an autobiography. But that's it. There's no big sendoff, no big deal.
I am getting used to the idea, again, that my life isn't really that big of a deal to my family. It's scary, reckless, and adventurous, but there's no way hobos get to heaven. It's not worth knowing. It ain't BYU football, it isn't lauded in General Conference, and it has nothing to do with anyone named Smith, Young, Hinckley, Monson, or Romney. It's funny, 'cos I could never get over my curiosity about certain things, and I guess that's why I'm in this shape today. To me, there was always something that was interesting or important to know about, especially about places and things that people don't want to let you know about when you're a little (Mormon) kid. In a way, I'm like the boy that ran away to join the circus, and even though I know how most of the tricks work, and even though I end up shoveling shit from time to time, the "circus" is still a magical place, whether you're a trapeze flier, fire-eater, a clown, the bearded lady, or a shitworker.
I guess I kind of wish that my family would take an interest in some of the things that I do. They don't have to go to every single punk show, go out to the freight yard every night, or even ride with me to California, but if they were to go to one show and stay throughout the whole thing, they would at least have a frame of reference. They would see how I am connected to someone from Redwood City, California. Or Leipzig, Germany, or Buenos Aires, Argentina for that matter. Kids from many lands come in my house, play their music, eat my food, and sleep on my floor. It seems unlikely or unnatural when you say it or try to explain it, but when it all unfolds, it's like playing an F chord on a guitar. It's a little tricky, but it works. My folks came to my birthday show last year, but they stayed about five minutes, just enough to get confused, and then leave feeling that way. My life wouldn't be such a mystery to them if they spent more than five minutes trying to understand it. But I think that Darby Crash said it best when he said, "What we do is secret. SECRET!" I think I'm beginning to realize that it's a secret not because we want it to be, but because nobody outside wants to know.
I'll be going to the MTC, sitting with the rest of the herd. Ha. I was just remembering last time I went I was wearing a hat or something for Nathan's intake. Some authority fucker came along and told me to take it off, so I shrugged, and I did so. An uncharged (Discharged?) foot and a half long green and black mohawk flopped out and rolled down my face. I was asked to put my hat back on. This time I've got dreadlocks, and they aren't exactly the happy, job-friendly, kind. Even though I never keep them dirty, people think I never take a shower. I don't have a hat this time.
I don't know how many times I am going to have to be the one that bends, but I realize that I am going to have to be the one that makes the effort to make my family a part of my life. It's like I jumped off their boat years ago. They were sure that I would drown, but I haven't. The best revenge is living well. I got my own ship now, an exotic pirate crew, and I have to keep coming back around their boat to remind them I'm alive. The only problem is that I don't always want to go where they're headed, so it makes trying to catch up with them a real pain in the ass. I know they feel dirty when they come near my waters, but there's no bounty for pirates along their tepid shores. I wish we could meet halfway.