Good Riddance, Baltimore

Today I gave a two-week notice of resignation to my employer. In two weeks the date will be March 1st, which is the date of my birth–merely coincidence, but it sure is snazzy. Especially telling, because on my birthday, March 1st, I’ll be packing my things and moving up to Rochester, New York. Returning to the motherland, so to speak (although I lived in Rochester only as an infant). A relative from the Coene side of the family–my father’s side–has insisted I move into the spare room, so I can get a fresh start recovering from the pathological dishonesty and financial hardship that has dragged down my life, of late.

 
I’m humbled, really, by such good fortune. I’ll miss the more meaningful work of special education, but, honestly, I need something with less responsibility (see: liability), and more compensation; I need to concentrate on writing without fretting over the lives of limited children, or the bills I cannot pay. Assuming all goes smoothly, the position I hope to fill satisfies both of these needs, with the added bonus of a new environment that isn’t so new as to be totally foreign. And, given my family ties, I’ll have a decent network of support should calamity decide to pop in and remind me of my place.
 
Abrupt, this change; but it veers the right way.
 
So, Baltimore, you polluted tank of stale air, you scene without art, you scene for the scene, you cesspool of poor etiquette, of ignorance and thick racial tension, of drug-induced body counts and ubiquitous sexual diseases, of elongated rats and confounding traffic patterns. Let us declare the things in which Baltimore leads the nation! Why not? Say syphilis! Say gonorrhea! Say rape reports! Say incarceration percentage! Say drop-out rates! Say–listen carefully, now, for the hollow silence of gaping class divide–percentage of households having the highest income!
 
Long have I carried resentful thoughts towards Baltimore, for reasons beyond these obvious mathematical facts. True to the quality of discussion around here, the response I often get is, “If you don’t like it, leave.” Well, to all you uninspired souls who have said as much to me, I say: “Okie-dokie.”
 
Before I wrap things up, let me show a bit of gratitude. Baltimore has injected me, repeatedly, with potent doses of cynicism. The Good Shit. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to write with so embittered and paranoid a tone. So thank you, for that.
 
My name is Michael J. Coene, and I’m dropping the god damned mic on Baltimore.
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Published in: on February 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Michael, found your blog via Goodreads (excellent Infinite Jest review). Sharp writing here. Love the finely-tuned, finely repressed rage. I can relate. Channel it into some damn fine fiction.

    • Thanks for giving me a read, Leah. Always a pleasure to meet another repressed soul.

      Sorry for the belated reply, by the way. I’m an irresponsible blogger.


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