Sometimes you have to remember where you were in order to appreciate where you are.

Back in probably… 1996, or somewhere around that time, I was a kid in the middle of a bad situation. My parents got divorced, and my mom made the wrong decision on her second husband. She’ll even admit as much today, as she’s been with her third husband for a good long time now.

But back to that second husband for a moment.

That dude just couldn’t make good decisions to save his life. He could hold a job. He couldn’t stop being a drunk piece of shit. He couldn’t stop being a pathological liar. Everything about him was completely and totally fucked.

So during this middle of this bad decision spree, we ended up getting evicted from our house in rural Western North Carolina, and moving into a hotel on Tunnel Road in Asheville. At the time, our cat Rascal had just given birth to a litter of kittens, so it was just our little family, and a bunch of fucking cats, with no goddamn plan.

These two kind souls saved my ass.

At some point, my mom reached out to her grandparents, my great-grandparents, about our situation. Memaw and Pepaw bailed us out. They gave my mom enough money to put town first, last and a security deposit at this house in the middle of goddamn nowhere in a little town called Barnardsville. So off we moved into the depths of red-state America.

Barnardsville is a beautiful little town, populated with (mostly) the most ignorant redneck trash imaginable. That’s where I spent most of my childhood years. Some people like to think of them as good people who are misguided. Perhaps they don’t know any better? Fuck if I know. It seems like they had ample opportunity not to be shitty people, and just landed themselves in an evangelical hellscape where bigotry, homophobia, ignorance and under-education were the norm.

I made it the fuck out of that, somehow.

Today, I went Porsche shopping. I don’t need a new car. Shit, we live a comfortable life in a nice house, and I already drive an Audi Q7. That’s a nice, responsible, luxurious family SUV that I know plenty of people would be happy to own. I did this because I remember what it was like to be in the Days Inn, with a box full of cats, with no goddamn money or food. My son will never know that life. My son won’t experience the anxiety and shame I felt, showing up to school, not wanting to tell his friends that he didn’t have a home.

I drive a $100,000 Porsche now.