The streets of Freedom are wide and tree-lined, an open road to a late afternoon swim. Or else they’re narrow, winding and cobble-stoned, a labyrinth in the middle of an age-old village. They’re filled with festive, musical people. Or still and quiet, greeting a new morning. However you want it, it’s like that in Freedom. I know. I used to live there.

In Freedom, there are no children clamoring for you to attend to them. Nobody knocking on the bathroom door. Nobody wakes you up earlier than you’d like in the morning. Nobody needs you to “watch this.”
In Freedom, you never have to rush home. When an old friend you haven’t seen in ages stumbles into the bar just as you were about to relinquish your stool to head out, you can change your mind on a dime. Step backward and keep your seat. Order another round.

You can go to the train station and buy a ticket to anywhere without having to tell anyone where you are going or for how long. Not because you intend to do anything so very secret or illicit, but because you feel like being anonymous or alone, just to have a little privacy.

In Freedom you can stay out all night and sleep in all morning and heat up last Thursday’s pasta in the fry pan with butter and eat it all yourself, right from the pan, in front of the TV. You can wear your pajamas all day and nobody comments. You can play Creed or Coldplay or Puccini at full volume, you can belt it out with Ella singing Cole Porter and nobody looks at you cross-eyed. You can clean up or leave a mess; you’re free to do whatever you want.

I haven’t been there in years. I do an occasional drive-by and I think about strolling down those avenues lined with nostalgia. What hangs from the trees are long strings of selective memory. It seems like a paradise from where I am now. But it wasn’t always so rosy. Freedom was wild and spontaneous and occasionally decadent. It was also – more often than I’d like to admit – a bit lonely.

I miss Freedom. But I don’t live there anymore. I don’t even think I could go back. I just pass by it every once in a while and I remember, with fondness, the mostly-good old days.

6 Responses to “Freedom”

  • Franca Says:

    Haha sounds like Short-Pants and Buddy-Roo live in Freedom, except for the bar and train part. Do they let you visit occasionally?

  • Delphine Says:

    Ohn they probably have to come back from there regularly when their hear things like “it’s time for bed”, “eat well”, “do your homework”… and then I think they long for a trip in Freedom. but as you say, Freedom is a mirrific place, but the price to pay for living there (loneliness) is in my opinion a hard price to pay.
    In Mothertown, you also have pretty streets. Streets where Thinkerbell and Merlin can pass by. Streets where trees are filled with balloons and lolipops. There are also nice parks, where you can have a rest with two lovely small elves resting with you, or parks where you can play, discover the beauty of an ant. There are streets noisy. In Mothertown, you can’t choose where to go and act as you wish, but it’s also full of surprises, of kisses, of plays performed by wonderfull actresses… isn’t it?

  • Delphine Says:

    don’t get me wrong, I have the pleasure to go back to Freedom almost every two week, but when I’m in Mothertown, I often have to remember the great things we can find there, like a mantra, so I don’t go crazy 😉

  • Kunyi Says:

    I’ve saved the pleasure of enjoying your writing until the end of the day today… after I got my paying work done, made a congratulatory card for my son’s year of school, figured out dinner, and whether Elliot can stay at his friend’s for dinner (again), yada, yada, yada. (In the back of my head I can hear, in a broad jewish accent, “whaaat, like you’ve got problems?” No, I have no problems. But I often think that if I broke two or three bones in my body, I would have to stay in the hospital for a few days, where I could lie in bed and READ. Or sleep without feeling (knowing) that I should be doing something else. Or do nothing. Nothing would be expected of me. I daydream of a tiny apartment, with nothing in it except windows, and a desk/worktable, and a good kitchen. And a good bed. It’s a recurrent theme/dream. To have enough space for nothing. No children, husband, mother, business partner, etc. There is such a pull for me – between my children I am besotted with, family and friends I love, and the desire to simply escape. I don’t even want to delve into the probability that I wouldn’t like the solitude for long. I just like to anticipate the joy of escape. The closest I’ve come to this state of bliss in real life is on a plane – with no kids, and a large glass of wine. I love your dementia.

  • Delphine Says:

    A friend of mine has written a beautiful play called Un retard. A woman (but he told me it could be a man) comes back home after a year of escape. She simply left one day and she says “now i’m back. Sorry i’m late”. It’s about visiting Freedom. I hope I’ll play this play one day. I’ll let you know but it’s in French ! It really is close to your thoughts. If you want i can ask him if he’d let you read it.

    • MDBlogs Says:

      I would love to read it in French – et je crois que je peux comprendre – but I would rather see you playing it. Is that likely to happen?

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