September 15, 2014

Previously on Weejy's World Confidential:  "I'll never let you go, jack."  
"This chicken is perfectly burned."
"I'm takin' this Honda straight to Iowa to work amongst the Amish."
"I'm takin' this Honda to Peducah to play music amongst friends." 
"I'm takin' this Honda to Nashville."
"One day, I will make the greatest chicken known to man."

Had this been in video format, you'd see the past the way I do--like little snippets of a favorite television series running through my head on repeat. Every day of my life.  Ok.. Not really, but go back and read the last few episodes of Weejy's World Confidential so you'll be up to date.  Actually, my next story is more of a prequel to all the others, so you can start here and then go back.  Or not...

Anyway, did you ever have one of those jobs where you got hired but instead of going to your first day of training, you moved across the country to somewhere like Pennsylvania?  Pennsylvania, the Keystone State. Yes, yes.  In my opinion, Pennsylvania is much snowier than Iowa is but not nearly as cold. It's also not quite as friendly as Iowa is, but it's definitely friendly enough.  It's a very frank place.  Sometimes you could mistake the natives frankness with rudeness.  They'll prod at a Southern accent, contorting their lips to make the same sounds. They'll make you repeat certain words like "ten" and any word ending in "-ing." You'll want to slap them for making fun, but upon further inspection, you will come to the realization that they actually respect the Southern drawl.  They will make you repeat words because they love the sound of them.  So, it's less like being a monkey at the zoo, and more like being the guy with the guitar at a campfire.  Test Pennsylvania out if you ever get the chance.  I'd suggest going there in October when the leaves are in full Fall change.  The colors painted on the sides of the rolling hills will make you believe in God.  I'd also suggest taking a class or two at the York College of Pennsylvania.  The teachers will make you believe in our education system.  
    
I started playing piano at my great aunt's house in York, Pennsylvania in October of 2003.  She was a great lady who told me stories about my grandfather that I'd never heard.  She had this gifted way of summing up the troubles and/or the beauties of the world (the entire world of which she vastly traveled) in the simplest, most pure way.  "The world is small," she'd say, "and it's nice to see it."  
     
She too was a person living in Pennsylvania who had a Southern drawl.  Old school, southern belle style.  Originally from Shelby, Mississippi and a Delta State graduate, she eventually landed in Pennsylvania and raised a family with her husband who she'd met by chance because her original date cancelled on her.  She and her chance date were engaged shortly thereafter... Like second date shortly thereafter.  Because of her, I know that Azaleas bloom twice a year in Mississippi; once in the Spring and once in the Fall.  Because of my moving to her house in Pennsylvania, I can play piano.  
     
While living at her house, I would often cook dinner.  Except, cooking dinner more or less consisted of heating up a package of one of those Skillet Sensation things that you can find at your local supermarket in the freezer section. I'm not sure how I'd feel about Skillet Sensations now, but back then, I thought they were awesome.  They were definitely much better than a rice and pancake diet.  I'm not sure if it meant anything, but I'll never forget my great aunt telling me that I would be a good cook.  I expressed that all I was doing was heating up some pre-made stuff, but she insisted, "I know, but I bet you would make for a good cook if you wanted to be."  Now, I'm not saying she could see the future or anything, but I have to point out that she seemed to have a certain kind of wisdom that made her more privy to information than the everyday Joe.   It was in her eyes.   She always had a look about her that suggested she knew more than she was letting on.  It was kind and comforting.  I can only hope to one day possess the same wisdom.
     
Two days before moving to my great aunt's house in York, Pennsylvania, I was in Oxford, Mississippi.  I had just been hired as a sandwich artist at Subway. "I don't know what it is I like about you," the manager said, "but I'm going to give you the job."  The next day I heard, through a cousin, about someone in Pennsylvania needing help with their landscaping business.  I called the Subway manager and told him what was going on.  The day after that, I was in York, Pennsylvania at my great aunt Tussa's house. The following day, I was working in the yard of a complete stranger 1,000 miles away from my former home.

To be continued...