Written By: Samantha Richards
My name is Samantha. I once lived in “the city.” I’m the girl Myron Moulders wrote about in last month’s installment of this blog. I used to meet him after school to discuss plans for our dates. We dated for our last two years of high school, and were the same age. But I moved away from the city when I was in my early twenties and married a man named Tom Richards. The two of us were happy for a few years, but eventually the marriage ended in divorce, and I’ve been single since.
And I suppose I should mention that it’s an act of some courage for anyone who was born in “the city” to leave it. And although I haven’t been a reader of this blog, I’ve been told that followers of it know of the “specialness” of this city. And not having been a reader of this blog, of course I didn’t know of Myron Moulders’ posting in it last month. Mayor George Jennifer informed me of it. He apparently had done some investigative work concerning me, had found where I lived, and then contacted me, and asked if I’d write this piece about my early years in the city; but especially about my relationship with Myron. So, alright, I’ll give it a try, although writing is not my “thing.”
Myron and I were high school juniors and seniors at the same time. And for those two years I was his girlfriend. We’d both been born to poor parents, and had both grown up on the southern side of our city. And it wasn’t until only a few days before graduation that we first spoke of what lay ahead of us. And we decided to part ways then. We said we’d see how things worked out after we’d both gone off to college. Maybe someday we’d reconnect again.
But it appeared to me that after we did break up, the memories of the harsh realities of life on our city’s south side really became noticeable. Before this, in my estimation at least, these matters of fact had somehow been obscured for me. I’d had a steady boyfriend, and a more or less steady routine, and thus it seemed everything around me had been of secondary importance and influence.
But after the break up, the poverty of our city’s south side, coupled with my knowledge of the north side’s relative wealth; and a new factor, the relocation of “artistic” type individuals to the near north side, all seemed to somehow overwhelm me; and this was at a time when my clearest focus should have been on the future, and not the present. But then, maybe this was the first time I really came into contact with the negativity of left-wing viewpoints. Our city is basically a bastion of conservatism, even in its so-called “artistic enclave,” although some people on the south side could be termed liberal.
And, “modest poverty,” that’s what I’d say nine of ten families of the south side lived within at that time. And by modest poverty I mean those families weren’t so poor to require welfare, or need to file bankruptcy; but rather were in such a financial situation which found them living as the old phrase states – “from day to day.”
And within south side families, usually only one of the two spouses was employed full-time during the mid-day hours; and the other (and this doesn’t refer exclusively to women) could most often be found caring for children, “running the house” so to speak, or yes, often simply wasting time by viewing mindless soap operas or pursuing other meaningless activities. And of course smoking and excessive alcohol consumption were rampant on the south side then, while the entire existence there seemed to be enveloped within a sense of pessimism. And most adults there blamed the richer, more successful people north of the river for their (the south-siders) lack of better living standards. In my opinion however, the blame for their plight lay not with those on the other side of the river, but with they themselves. They lacked ambition, and really, or so it appeared to me at least, didn’t care that much about trying to better themselves in any fashion, i.e. financially, socially, career-wise, etc. But they were good at complaining! And they really knew how to blame others for their various plights, and in some cases, downright laziness.
And in retrospect, I’m sure that for someone such as myself, adolescence on the south side was a detriment to me personally, and certainly a bane to all I may have ever hoped to achieve or become. So often I used to ask myself: “Why can’t these people (meaning my own, and the majority of other south side families) break themselves free from the chains of negativity that encircle and weigh them down? Why can’t they separate themselves from all the cynicism they so vividly manifest through cigarette smoking, drunkenness, drug abuse, cursing and the use of other foul language, criminal behavior, abusive physical behavior (in some instances), and the pursuit of all matters anti-intellectual (in all instances)?”
So, as you can see, it was tough growing up where I did. But I’m not seeking your sympathy. And, I know that many other children, for reasons I don’t know, had worse upbringings than I. Yes, the pre-teen and teen years are often fraught with difficulty. Nonetheless, that’s the case no matter under what circumstances any human may encounter those years. Yet, surely an overwhelming sense of doom and inevitable failure are instilled in the psyches of those who grow to adulthood amidst continual complaining, personal pity, and the belief that no significant goodness can ever be present in the lives of certain individuals simply due to the location of their birth.
But of course with the help of liberals, a lot of people are now simply trying to leave their problems behind, cross a river, and then foist those problems on to the Americans who live north of them. Yet, when those who’ve entered the U.S. illegally are transported to areas of it other than the one on which they first set foot, those same liberals who encouraged them to enter the U. S. illegally then complain because the illegals have been dropped off at their doorstep. In other words, it’s fine for others to have to deal with the illegals, but God forbid the liberals should have to. And, why can’t we stop illegal aliens from entering our country? Why do we have to allow them entrance herein?
But I suppose I’m digressing. Well, I told you writing wasn’t my “thing.” Nevertheless, to return to more personal matters, I suppose that you can guess that Myron and I are both in our mid-thirties now. And of course I know that’s far from too late to figuratively start over again. Yet, I’ve failed at “restarts” before. And sometimes, to perhaps compensate for whatever circumstances they’ve inherited, I feel certain individuals tend to apply too much “filler” to the “gaps” in their lives. Still, most of them seek companionship. And, most of them fear loneliness.
And yet, I wonder how many people will believe this south-side story. It concerned two people who, perhaps only by virtue of their placements at birth, bent society’s rules of etiquette and conformity – but not necessarily its statutes of law. But now I want to say a few words about a third person.
On the day that Tom Richards and I decided to divorce, I surprised him by coming home earlier than expected, and found him not with another woman, as is what seems to be the case in many literary plots, but rather with a handful of pills which he was deciding whether or not to imbibe. And I was able to convince him not to end his life that day. But he and I decided to go our separate ways then. And I made Tom promise he’d never contemplate suicide again. And I believe he hasn’t.
So Myron, now you know I’m a single woman again. And if you’re not married, or in any type of relationship, and if such is your desire, get my phone number from George Jennifer. Call me, and maybe we can meet somewhere when school is ended. But it of course can’t be on the school grounds. We’re not high school sweethearts anymore, and we know the problems schools have been having lately with intruders on their premises.