Wednesday, June 6, 2012
And Back Again......
1977 was a banner year in my development. Many blogs ago, I talked about how my Cousin Maria introduced to a little space opera written by one, George Lucas. Later in the fall, the Big Guy would also follow suit.
Every Tuesday and Thursday s, the Big Guy would pick me up from Northside Elementary. I always loved and hated those days. The Big Guy was notorious for getting caught up in a project which would make him late to the car line for pickup. On the other hand, once picked up, I’d get to go back and explore the Georgia College Library where he was Circulation Director. The stacks were scary to me but also an unexplored area to be tamed by the young fearless explorer, Robby Richardson, Archaeologist to the Stars.
It was early in November when we walked into his office. An advertisement for a cartoon later on the month was on his some library magazine on the Big Guy’s desk.
What’s this?” I asked.
“It’s about that Hobbit cartoon coming out n a few weeks. Looks good,” the Big Guy surmised.
The picture had a bunch of short guys that I guessed to be dwarves climbing a mountain pass. In the background was a gloomy sky filled with lighting and a dragon that appeared to be screaming. “What’s a hobbit?”
My father had a look as if I asked who the first president was. “You trying to tell me that you can rattle off these space alien names like Dark Raider, Han Solo, and Dr. Spock but you can’t recognize a classic piece of literature? “
I stared blankly as I fought the urge to make corrections in a long line of pop culture references exchanges between us. I choose wisely.
“We can fix this.” The Big Guy leapt up from behind his desk and took my hand. We headed to the library stacks.
We searched for about 5 minutes when I heard him exclaim in triumph. The Big Guy handed me a book which would change my life. It was by some guy named Tolkien and was called simply, ‘The Hobbit. What the hell was this hobbit guy?
Over the next few weeks I would discover and then watch the cartoon which mesmerized me. My favorite part was toward the end when we see Bilbo Baggins as an older “hobbit” and he had written his book, There And Back Again: A Hobbit’s Tale.
Many of those elements hit notes with young Explorer Robby. How could I not enjoy dwarves seeking gold against a backdrop of goblins, elves, and a talking dragon? I was looking over this today and wondering how I have not re-read this since college. When I finish this last Game of Thrones book, I am going to read it to Jude.
Yet The Hobbit struck a chord in me which opened up a whole other can of worms in my life. The process of the journey. I loved how Bilbo left the comfort of his home, made this perilous journey, and then returned a better person and got to live on to become fat and happy. For the rest of my life, I became obsessed with “journey” stories. My bookcase is filled with them from A Walk Across America to Prince of Tides.
Yesterday was the five year mark for my return to Savannah. Back on 2007, I was pretty broken up. I had lost my job, forced to begin dialysis, divorced, and my dog, Belle, was just holding on due to old age. She would have to be put down a few weeks later. Second worst day of my life. Using the word broken fells melodramatic but it’s an apt description.
I was angry too. I joke about being married to Satan’s Step-daughter but she did screw me over without the courtesy of lube. I was pissed about my kidneys going. I was pretty much Peter Piss Off. I hated my new school and trying to learn the bullshit politics. Everything just blew.
Yesterday, I threw out the coffeepot I had to go and buy at Wal-mart to replace the one Satan’s step-daughter ran off with. In its place sits a fancy Cuisinart courtesy of my new wife. I look around the forest of boxes, tables, piles of household ends as I try to help in merging of two separate households. I have to stop and take a breath just to realize just how far I have come in five years.
I didn’t out riddle Gollum for my life, fight my way out a giant spider’s web or even float out in a barrel to escape Rivendell. A few comparisons could be drawn between outwitting the talking dragon and dealing with the ex but she’s had enough screen time here.
Over the past five years, I have finally made my own personal journey. I hit the bottom hard and not even on my own two feet. Somehow through some amazing friends, family I can count on, and the love of a good woman, I stand here today in front of my own hobbit hole.
Don’t bother looking for dwarf gold, it’s been replaced by two hysterical kids who love to interrupt me and always make me laugh when I am trying to be an adult. You won’t find any magic spells or angry wizards. The only magic in this house are the looks Kim and I exchange when she looks up from what she is doing and I begin to feel flush. That, my friend, is mojo.
And the one ring to rule them all? I’m wearing it……