Bangor, Maine: the oh-so exciting place where a statue of Paul Bunyan and waterfront concerts have become the city’s most cherished possessions. In this city of ubiquitous L.L. Bean boots, nobody is flabbergasted when the occasional girl walks by wearing Birkenstocks carrying an iced coffee from Starbucks...in December...complaining about how her hands feel frozen. In Bangor, we do not experience autumn, spring, summer, and winter; we experience cold, really cold, somewhat cold, and hypothermia. Here, everyone knows where Stephen King resides, and most of us have already taken a Halloween picture with his haunting home in the background. But, most importantly, in this city, where everyone’s hair freezes on winter mornings and the wind seems more powerful than Hercules, is a girl yearning to experience life like a wildfire. Here lives a girl longing to explore new territories far beyond mere pine trees and blueberry bushes. That girl is me. I crave an experience that “ extinguishes the small, inflames the great,” as Roger de Bussy-Rabutin says. And maybe once I experience a new life, I can figure out where I belong.
It will be hard to forget the smell of wintergreen and summer rain that comforted me when my world spiraled downward. Or, the numerous times I caught my nana picking up the fallen pears from a random pear tree that grew in stark contrast to the drug debris littering our 0.08 acre yard, the numerous sneakers thrown upon the telephone wires fifty feet high. I am mostly incapable of forgetting the time I bumped into a guy who became the combustible elements that brightened my ink-welled galaxy. Only his firecracker heart could blow me away, as if I were a mere, insignificant, autumn leaf. Blown away, discovered that just talking on the hood of his parked, white, chevy impala eating Oreo McFlurries was the definition of peace. The absence and total acceptance of humiliation between the two of us created a safe, warm haven that the frigid chill of Maine’s hypothermia could not penetrate. It gave me a sense of protection from my hometown. A warmth, almost like that first sip of hot, Treworgy’s apple cider on November first, enfolded me like a mother’s hug. But lately, that mother’s hug hasn’t been there, and lacking that overwhelming sense of home has led me to believe that leaving Bangor may be the only way to find it once again.
I have come to the decision that I have outgrown Bangor, Maine, and the way daily life is played out by adults here. So, goodbye, Bangor. I would prefer to make something out of myself and fall in love with yet another combustible element---with other flavors, other scents, other seasons and reignite the home fires that seem to have burned down to their embers---than to take one more trip to the pear tree at the end of my street. Maybe once I experience a new life, I can figure out where I belong.
Morgan-Carter Moulton is 17 years old; she lives in Bangor, Maine. As a writer, she is in love with the power of words and languages.
Image by Hamann La from Pexels