People still ask if it was really as bad as the news portrayed.

It was much worse.

The news outlets cannot report every incident, let alone,

possibly express the subtle changes in ones psyche and 

consequently in ones body that occurs when one is immersed 

in constant violence, uncertainty, anarchy, fear.

And it hits us all differently.

Violence. Uncertainty. Anarchy. Fear.

We interpret the experience through our own lens.

We move through it differently.

We survive it differently.

My mind had been foggy for years, and my heart had ached for longer, but on the last visit it became clear that I had to move back. I had no understanding of what it would mean to move from the utopia that was Austin, even during a recession, to a 

modern day blood bath fucked up ghost town

without rules.

But I knew.

It had been a very long time since I had any clarity, 

literally or metaphorically.

So I went.

 

My father came out to help me pack and drive the U-haul.

At this point, I was a full blown addict, and totally unaware of the fact. I was however, very good at hiding it, only from the ones that merited the lie of course.

 

On August 1st, 2009 I woke up earlier than necessary.

I smoked my last joint in peace, nostalgically took in my surroundings, ate two migas tacos, and embarked

on the 569 mile drive.

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