I had always believed living such a great life in my youth was a blessing. Now that I am older and realize my life will never be that great again; it has become a curse.
Right out of high school, I began what was believed to be a grand adventure. I joined the navy with hopes of traveling to exotic and tropical locales.
Unfortunately, it took me to a town smaller than the one I was trying to escape. A place where winters were more harsh and the sun shone even less.
However, after a year and a half the adventure began with orders to a small island at the southern end
of The Marianas Chain.
Guam is a beautiful island. The temperature is tropical, hot and humid. The ocean water as clear as what the tap brings forth, it the perfect temperature to escape the heat as well as soothe an aching body. From Guam I was sent to sea. San Diego, Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the great city of Hong Kong were all places where my feet had trod.
After Guam, orders came that sent me to Wahiawa on the island of Oahu. If there was a Garden of Eden, Hawaii is where it must have been.
Two years in paradise.
Two years just a few minute drive from The North shore.
Two years, of which my life has had no equal.
For reasons which still escape me, when my time was done, I willingly returned to the trap which I had escaped.
For a time, life wasn't bad. I spent time with family, worked and even loved. Still the place of my birth was not home, it never was. After a few years I planned another egress, only to be thwarted by guilt. The trap had me firm.
Fortunately, I earned enough money to travel anywhere in the world. However the nature of my career didn't allow extended time away. It was then I discovered another small island at the southern tip of another island chain.
This time the chain was the Florida Keys and the island was Key West. A new paradise. A new place where my soul felt at home.
My many trips gave me peace, happiness and at least a temporary reprieve from the bleak Northeast Pennsylvania region that has repeatedly shackled me since birth.
Finally, an opportunity presented itself. A once in a lifetime opportunity. Once again, I made an escape. I was in the warm embrace of Florida. Gone from The Hell that I had been fleeing since age seventeen. However, the thirty years of entrapment had destroyed the adventurous soul that had once burned so brightly.
Anxiety, fear, loneliness and predominantly, weakness had me turn, and with tail tucked firmly between my legs, crawl back to the comfort of despair.
Never to know warmth in winter.
Never to know skies devoid of gray.
Never to know the joy of a life lived happy.
It is here I will die. Actually it is here, mired in culm, that my soul already has.