Jay Edge : Home was a land that slid from fields (memoir)

Southern Legitimacy Statement:
My name is Jay Edge and I’ve been drawing & writing ever since I remember. The one thing I remember doing before drawing and telling stories was roaming the woods behind my grandparent’s home. I’d sew a sheath for my rusty machete, head out the back door to spend the day searching out snakes on red clay riverbanks, to push through bamboo thickets to swingable vines, to distance jump puddles and creeks, and to be gladly lost beneath the gradations of light towards night.I’ve skateboarded packed mud on several occasions and I’m no stranger to home-cooked foods piled upon paper plates. I run distance across mountain trails and my writing resembles the rhythms of my runs.The NC piedmont is the land of my birth, the mountains are the space of my college and early adulthood, and the beach is my current home. I’ll probably never leave NC, despite my wife’s protestations. We do travel often, just to shift the dust on our shoes. It’s a win-win compromise.

Home was a land where buildings slid from fields

Home was a land that slid off the side of Charlotte. Grass, business, families began to root. Nascar legends and Russian wrestlers bought toiletries at my work. My checks bought antique cameras, European magazines, movies at the Gem, raw cotton duck and oil paint. I paid late fees at the library like a donor.
We ate barbecue with wood chips, buffets at Pizza Hut, blue plate specials. We paced a mall that smelled of wet cardboard, new carpet. The cigar shop by Belk. The book store. The smell of new cassettes wrapped in plastic, the smell of hot plastic as they played in tape decks. We were joyful and young.
Tobacco fields and numbered roads connected the corners of our county. We drove fast on dirt roads, found bodies of youth in smoky theaters, rolled across the banks of country lakes. We made out in churches. We snuck out at camps. I took a french girl to Taco Bell, thought I got it right.
When you are young, you do not realize the landscape will change. That faces will age. That, upon leaving, the road back may be new and unfamiliar. You will not be recognized by most. You are anonymous, an obstacle of traffic, and your driving will upset someone on a road that used to have less traffic. You return to the land of your upbringing, there is something familiar, but neither you nor the town is the same. You collect echoes of memory among the old lanes, move in the strength of your manhood where you once moved as a boy. Everything is different and indifferent.
Home is a land like so many homes you have known.
So you drive back home.