Diary 1, June 14th, 2000
Robert Frost once said two roads diverged into a wood. Or at least that's what my English teacher said.
I don't agree with him. I have seen many roads, and I have seen many woods. I have seen no roads diverge into any wood. I have seen no woods with roads diverging into them.
Some men are liars. My paw paw taught me that.
It is bright today. Sunny. The skies are opaque, allowing the sun to set fire to the leather interior of my dad's navy blue 1967 Ford Mustang. It stings your skin to sit down. I roll from ass cheek to ass cheek absorbing as much heat as the skin can bear through my cargo shorts before transitioning. It's become a game. The winner gets a milkshake. Really, I get a milkshake, no matter what. The burned ass is requisite to the trip.
My father didn't raise me a thinking man. I'm not sure how that turned about. He'd rather I ride on a tractor. My father is a tough man. The son of the son of a man who all played for Bear Bryant. And he did too. I've heard stories of Bear and never liked one of them. I guess that's what makes me different. My brother, he believed. He swears he'll go to Alabama someday too. Yes, they are all Alabama men, and I guess, because I live in Hunstville, I kind of am too.
But Alabama is a cold, dead place. Even when it's 100 degrees. I like to think when God crafted the land mass that became the United States and decided what the climate and regions and cultures would be, he decided to abstain from touching Alabama. That's why it's a lifeless, soulless land destitute of beauty. The Land That God Did Not Touch, I call it.
I'll be leaving soon. Soon as I can, anyway. The laws make emancipation rather tough on us kids. I don't reckon my pops would appreciate it much if I decided to leave anyhow. He's an Alabama man, but I love him still. Even the lost need guidance.
For me, there's a new horizon. Just South and West of me. I've memorized the route. 565 to 65 to 59 to 12 to Airline Highway and you have reached the Promised Land. Baton Rouge. I have never been, but my pops said the stadium there, well, it's like running through a mine field that's trapped inside a metal drum. Just a mess of explosions and ear ringing that many men never escape. He said it's scary and other not nice things, but you know what they say about shining a light into darkness? That's how I've always felt about pop when he's talking about LSU.
That is my horizon. That is my next step. No matter what pop or brother or grand dad have to say. And beside, that Nick Saban guy they hired to coach their football team? I think that guy is gonna do alright.
My name is Connor Neighbors.
That is all for now.