It had been a wonderful first Thanksgiving - the first with anyone on my mother's side of the family - but when it came time to head back to Winston-Salem I hadn't the slightest notion what intersect to take or ramp to get off of and what's when I saw it, just over the horizon, the beacon to all those lost -
THE PHALLUS PALACE - and I knew if I continued in that direction I would find my way home.Ten Years
'living' in Winston-Salem - but for the first eight I lived in my own community of Salem Academy & College. Over two hundred and fifty years old it reminded me of the short time I was ever happy in life - living in Havelock, NC - and I cried, first out of fear of being in a new place alone; then, whenever I had to leave my new home.
You wake up in the morning, wash your face and teeth in your basin before dressing (whether semi-formal or in your jim jams) and head out down the walkway, carefully because the bricks are uneven just slightly enough to... cause discomfort at the wrong angle; towards The Rat (formally known as 'The Refectory'), which can cause you discomfort to the rest of you body when parents/important guests aren't around, to enjoy anywhere from one minute to one hour with friends before classes.
Ignoring classes, the view is fantastic with little garden-like brooks, fountains with water lilies and koi, a trellis covered in lavender which leads you to the RG House where our guests reside; but, the most magnificent: The May Dell, Salem's amphitheater, where all the seniors rise accepting their sheepskins (no offense to PETA members) the non-masochists appreciating the fact it is over.
Salem College started out as an one room school for girls - back when Old Salem was Salem and the woman wore caps with different colored ribbons to tell the men of the tribe if they were eligible - it flourished, outlasting the Boy's School for over a hundred fifty-two hundred years and, while it isn't gender bias, is a source of empowerment for all who pass through its walls.
Hikikomori through a lifetime of abuse, one short year at Salem College gave me liberty and justification that I existed and a right to continue -- so wherever I find myself living in the city of Winston-Salem all I have to do is look for The Phallus Palace, see its glowing tip, and I know my home is not much further away.