My Galveston, My Dear.
I’ve not left you for good. I don’t hate you. I haven’t given up on you. I just need a break. I want to explore and travel. I got a little bored and sometimes distance makes the heart grow fonder…I left California in much the same, no hate at all there, all on good terms, but it felt it was time to move about a bit.
I came to the island after moving to Texas from California (where I’d lived for six years). I was married then. We had some dreams and hopes as all the stories go….but ours went in other directions…mine went in many many directions.
I’d fallen in love with the island I had not been to since a child when I came back listening to live music and bringing my dogs to the beach. After the hurricane and restoration began, new people, new heart, and a lot of project beckoned to me. The history. The feel. The grittiness of it called.
A particular building still holds my heart, I am sad that my life took a curve and has yet to be able to accommodate the plans I still wish for that building. Such is life. Such was not the timing.
That marriage dissolved almost as soon as we moved to the sand…it began nearly the day of and over the next eleven months fell apart like delicate lace in harsh weather.
I was sad then but resolved to move on under all circumstances of a failed marriage of abuse and affairs. Small town gossip withstood.
I went through legal problems, again and again. Humiliation and the neck ache that keeping my head up gave me through it all. It is a story well known. Small town gossip flashes like a grease fire atop of it. It is what it is.
I dated, newly single again. The island doesn’t give you choices it would in all other parts of the world. Some where just plain bad. I am usually appalled at even my choices by some. Others interesting even if not good. Still others held my heart regardless. What is life without regret? What is life without bad choices? What is life without a hurt heart? These answers do not only cover the category of love but all aspects of life.
I even spent seven months in your jail…that little B&B with hard cold beds, serving moldy baloney…Galveston, your hospitality ranges greatly. This is far from hidden truth I do not deny.
What can I say about my time in Galveston?
Well, a lot really. It was not all of the bad, sad, heartbreak, and dashed hopes and dreams of the lines above but really and truly I embrace the island still…as I leave it the sadness is the nostalgia of my love for it. My good memories.
I’ve had, at times, good friends and laughter and good conversation and shared feasts.
I’ve bicycled all over the island from stem to stern, explored nooks and crannies, enjoyed flying along the seawall on my bike with a wind to my back (or cursing with the wind against me). I’ve explored the fallen and forgotten spaces. Mansions and homes and crumbling brick buildings with walls that told a sorry if you listened to their whispers.
I’ve spent much time along that beach at sunset, the colors painting across the sky in ways that never matched the next and always took your breath away…even on the lazy days.
I’ve gardened in your soil. I’ve sunk my feet into your sand. I’ve dipped my toes into your waters. I’ve surfed among your waves. I’ve swam with your dolphins. I’ve read underneath your sunniest afternoon skies.
I’ve lived in a Down Town artistic place of restaurants, coffeeshops, and galleries. Artwalks and music, voices that inspire, paintings that make your fingers twitch and readings that keep you up at night. I’ve been an observer and a part of it all…often walking through most unnoticed, always noticing it all.
I’ve sang in your night winds, danced underneath your stars, warmed myself by a fire upon your beaches, been kissed on your beach under full moons, and been fed by your fruits.
Most of all Galveston. In all of the good and in all of the bad, I have been fed, inspired, grown, changed, molded. I have created, found my place in life, found many answers and the questions of which to ask for them. I’ve written many things, much of my works as well as many chapters of my life here with you.
Sometimes you made me cry. Sometimes you bored me to tears. Sometimes I wanted to run away. Sometimes I embraced you, loved you, celebrated you, cared for you as I felt you did for me.
I never regretted you. Not once. Not now. Not for a second. I am not leaving you forever…as plans go though who knows? I just have more I wish to do (small town gossip still flying, but infamous or famous, love me or hate me, it is what it is.) I have more I wish to see. But in these travels I speak of you fondly…like a love left who’s nostalgia is fully seen only through the rose colored glasses of time and distance.
Really I don’t leave you at all, I will be back for sure. And I take many stories of your along my travels. I let people know your name. You are a part of my regular conversation. “Where do you come from?” Is answered with “Galveston Island” along these roads and to these people. I encourage them to visit, to meet you if they have’t, or haven’t for a long time. I even saved a stack of Galveston Monthly and Coast Magazines, unable to part with those collected over the past year and a half time. They have room on board even as I wittle down much, including books. I have pictures of you to look at and be reminded should your image become fuzzy. And I have a map that will lead me back if ever I feel the need to dip my toes into your waters again.
They say once you live on the island, you never leave. And if you leave, you always come back. Perhaps. I would love a little cottage there, or to maybe fulfill the dream of a particular building. But for now I trade your potholed roads for the open roads of the American country side…you know…that place just across the causeway.
With all love, no regrets, chapters written, and love and lived fully; Goodbye for only now, my dear Galveston.