New Jersey. My home.
A densely-populated state yet my choice of companionship seemed rather unfortunate.
People and places on every exit of the parkway.
Rutgers on exit 130.
Exits seeming so paradoxical because I would never take exit 141 again… I even avoid reading certain highway signs because I connect city names with previous lovers.
Exit 147- where my home used to be. The home my family lived in the farce of a nuclear family, the American Dream, and happiness.
Eventually, my cheating father and lonely mother parted. But, everything is far more complicated than that.
Now I live off of exit 145…recovering from all the wounds that disturb my peace.
All consuming and exhausting from all the men who wanted me for convenience or stripped my innocence.
New Jersey, the garden state. Well, its home. Where all my experiences- my ups and my downs contribute to who I am.
So, Thank you New Jersey for giving me memories with friends and family, drunken nights in Hoboken, summers spent at the beach, apple picking and pies in the fall, and for allowing me to meet the people I was meant to and discarding the rest like pollution along the shore.
I’ve finally met the right man I can share infamous New Jersey diners with at 3 am or 3 pm.
I’m not a secret.
I’m wanted and loved. Thank you New Jersey.