Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life Lesson #1: Where Are Your From?

where are you from?

Life can be summarized by your singular personal experiences, your adopted belief systems, or a pronounced affiliation of your geographic birthright. Son, in your case this will be a difficult void to fill. See in a technical view, you may or may not be Spanish. You were born on the 9th of December, 2010 at 8:22am in a military hospital in Rota, Spain. So, some may surmise that you are a Spanish citizen by birth; however by further examination you will find that you were born to a Canadian/American mother and a blood bound Massachusetts American. Because your very birthplace was chosen by displaced necessity and not by parental consent, you may then choose to adopt either native land of your mother or father. With this all being explained, I want to state the case for choosing Massachusetts as your adopted people's:

I was born in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts on October 14, 1982 on the second floor of what is now a demolished parking lot of a hospital named Saint Vincent's. Your grandparents Sandra Mysliwitcz and Gregory Hamel were quite young, only 20 at the time, their age and the outcome of being a DJ and reckless choices will later be touched upon in a lesson about "Really Real Life, The Birds and The Wasps." But getting back to it, I feel that I was annointed by a higher power to be born into Massachusetts in the early 1980's.
Since the birth of America in the 1700's my fair state has been a hot bed for hot heads. Men and women with a true grit and loose tongue have never been afraid to stand up to tyrants, taxes, or tecnological advances. With good reason there has been a systematic pride built up in the blackest hearts of the citizens, it may be the bitter cold winters(lesson 4), potholes(lesson 6), the tragic losses of sports teams(lesson8), or the shear understanding that in most things we have been supreme to other humans. Some people will tell you that it takes a big man to admit his wrongs, learn, and never commit them again; I say it takes a smarter more sarcastic man to know he is wrong but have a quick enough whit and tongue to convince others he is right. ( your mother will disagree with this.)
From my birth until the age of 19 when I signed up and shipped out to the Navy, I lived in the same 25 mile radius. There was much to be gained here. The most important was the proximity for better or worse to all your family. All the way from second cousins, great uncles and aunts, to grandparents my entire family was sometimes painfully and lovingly available. Through all of our shortcomings and differences, we were on a collision course of similarities based upon sports, regional issues, weather, and further tragedy at the hand of sports teams. The common denominator for all these things is geographic perpetuity.
Massachusetts has seasons; you cannot understand the value in this until you have lived in a place like the swamp called Florida where two climate systems exist: hot and rain, also humidity. We have stars and snow, in the autumn season as you drive down the Mass Poke between exist 10 in auburn and the through tolls entering Boston, the trees are seas of amber and hot yellow, this cannot be described well enough. In the spring, the grass in the left field of Fenway park shaded by the green monster and Pesky Poll is a shade of green not seen in your ancestors Irish fields. Weather promulgates itself to your senses as you grow older; I have seen the dead deserts of the middle east and the rolling fields of Spanish plains but I would never give up Massachusetts.
As fore mentioned we have grit. Citizens of the bay state are hard workers, blue collar broken backs have solidified your existence. As a Hamel man, your prior generations have worked for your right to talk fast and commit yourself to a fast paced life comprised by a myriad of mythical life legends and room to stretch your legs. We posses a regional accent unmatched by the Queen Mother of Tyranical England herself. Forget about the semantics of speech, drop your R's and add an understood "ah" to everything. One day you will meet the poor bastard that asks if you "park your car in Harvard yard. Punch him in the face. It's your obligation.
I would use this space to explain the history of sports in Massachusetts, but it is a bit too convoluted and painful to describe in a single paragraph, however two sentences should describe it : Your great-grandfather didn't see the Boston Red Sox win a baseball World Series until he was 78 years old, despite 5 previous attempts. I cried in 2003 when Aaron Boone hit a Homerun to end the American League Championships, causing the end of the Red Sox's season; I was 22 years old.
That about describes it, the years growing up on the east coast, in Massachusetts, in Worcester formed a somewhat profound foundation of who I was to become, a husband to your mother and a father to you.
When you are older someone will ask you, where are you from, you could be proud in saying "I was born in Spain, but I am from Massachusetts." they will either strike up a conversation about sports, weather, or Boston; or they will fear you.

Your God Father Tom Rheault puts it best as he sings for the seminal punk band No Trigger in the song Commonwealth:
Because you couldn’t be controlled?
Because it was to fucking cold?
Okay cool it sounds like we gained some elbow room.
And check it out.
We just block our ears when they constantly complain they’re not some place else.
A lack of interest avoiding upsets.
Now knowing the unknown I’m going home
‘cause I’ve been’ around the block and seen
The hot swamp palm trees, Corpus Christie’s,
cornfield truck stops, earthquake faults, it’s all the same to me!
It's all the same to me.
I’d rather spend my days just sipping coffee where the humble seasons change.
I was born in Massachusetts.
No regrets and no excuses.
I was born in Massachusetts.
This is where I’ll die. 

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