Hemet is Heaven

To give you some insight into my twisted little mind I thought I’d give you some background.

I grew up in a small town called Hemet. Right smack in the armpit of California. My grandma told me when she moved there in the 50’s, they used to call it ‘the foothills of heaven’. Unfortunately, that has since become a sick joke as my grandmother’s and parent’s generations began to die off and move on. Located just on the other side of the mountains from Palm Springs, it was set to be the next big desert resort town. The warm weather brought orange groves as far as the eyes could see. It’s even rumored Marilyn Monroe was one of Hemet’s visitors.

The smell of orange blossoms has since been replaced with the smell of manure that hits you like a brick wall the moment you cross the border into town(although, there are no real farms anywhere I’ve ever seen). The orange groves, now acres of run-down tract homes. Hemet now boasts the world’s 2 closest Super Wal-Marts and one of the highest meth production rates in the USA. My single greatest accomplishment in life was leaving that little shit town. Although, at the age of 25, I am still susceptible to The Hemet Curse. The Hemet Curse has proven itself time and time again, generation after generation; Once you live in Hemet, no matter where you go, you’re doomed to return there to live there someday. I’d even go as far to say that if you were born in Hemet, you will more than likely die there.

You can still see the remains of Hemet’s Glory Days. One of my favorite landmarks is the old Hemet Stock farm. A now dilapidated old field, it once hosted horse races and events for Hemet’s finer folk. It’s claim to fame now is that it was used in the movie adaptation of the novel, Seabiscuit. A beautiful piece of history that’s no surrounded by low-income housing and trailer parks. I know it’s just a matter of time before the powers-that-be tear it down to make…well…I would assume another Super Wal-Mart.

I have to wonder at what point everyone in Hemet went batshit crazy. When they turned from a hardworking farm town to a welfare warzone. It’s hard to look at the town in the state it’s in now and imagine anybody EVER deciding to move there in this day and age, let alone stay there when they have the means to leave. But that is the Hemet curse…you’re born there, everything and everyone you know is there, you stay there. It’s fear of the unknown. What is behind that wall of cow shit? A lot of my friends and family will probably never know.

I was severely depressed while I lived there(the better part of 22 years) Idle hands and an overactive mind. After a particularly bad year and my best friend moving 8 hours away to northern California, I decided I had to make an escape or die there. I decided on a whim to move to the small beach town of Carlsbad, CA. I used to camp there as a child and it held some of my favorite memories. I found a job at a hotel and a roommate on Craigslist and made my break for it. It was rather a bold thing to do, to abandon all I knew, friends, family, all the things that held me there, the things that made me, me. But it was all I could do to save my sanity. I didn’t like the ME that was formed in Hemet. Leaving was the best decision of my life.

It’s not all sunshine and roses. I am very lonely out here on my own. No family, no friends nearby, and let’s face it, the beach lifestyle ain’t cheap. But I’m HAPPY. Well, the closest to happy I can remember ever being anyways(most people would still classify this as miserable, but trust me, I could be worse) I’ve got a long way to go until bliss, but I’m getting there. The path is becoming clearer to me, but I still have some roadblocks to get over before I can begin that journey.