Hometown

Don't be afraid to tell your story

Brad Transcript — June 6, 2019

Brad Transcript

You can download a PDF version of the transcript here.

7 – Brad Transcript

[Hometown theme fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[Theme fades out]

Kiera: Hello! Welcome back to Hometown! I am so excited about the story I have for you today. Today, I spoke to Brad and honestly I just had a really good time talking to him. And I thought his story was really interesting, and it didn’t end the way I expected. I hope you enjoy it.

[Cut to interview]

Kiera: Thanks again for agreeing to the interview.

Brad: Of course, yeah. [A slight pause] Uh… is there something you wanted me to talk about? Because I can do that… just… give me something to talk about and I’ll… do it.

Kiera: Well if you’d like to introduce yourself that would be a great place to start.

Brad: Well, um… I’m uh, I guess… my name is Brad. I’m a manager at a restaurant, but… that’s really not that interesting. And I’ve lived here all my life.

Kiera: What is it that makes you stay here?

Brad: Right. Um… that’s the point of all this yeah? To share what makes this town special?

Kiera: That’s the idea, yes.

Brad: Well, growing up I guess I had a pretty normal childhood. Nothing super distinctive. Grew up around good people at school, had the typical high school experience. I still see some of my old high school buddies sometimes which is kind of weird, but mostly fine. The people in my class were nice enough. I mean, aside from my first girlfriend. That was a mess. But other than that, I don’t know. This is just… it’s familiar. And sometimes yeah I’ll see new things, but generally… I mean, it’s everything. I guess it’s just… I don’t have a reason to leave, because this place… has everything.

Kiera: So, is there anything in particular that you feel makes this town special?

Brad: I mean, any town this size is going to have some similarities with here. You’ve got the local coffee shops, the small businesses and a couple of radio stations that run ads for local injury lawyers. But… I don’t know I think there’s just something about the familiarity of it all. Plus, you know, the library’s pretty great. I mean, I know other places have libraries that are probably bigger, but… I don’t know. I feel… it’s sort of a special for me.

Kiera: What makes you say that?

Brad: I mean, that’s where I… started getting into books… and uh… met some people…  

Keira: Would you like to talk about it?

Brad: Uh… yeah, I can. It’s actually kind of a funny story.

Kiera: Well, stories are what I’m here for.

Brad: Well, I was in the library a while back. I had to turn in some movies. My roommate hadn’t seen the Back To The Future movies yet, and I was able to convince him to watch them, but I didn’t have any of them so we rented them from the library. So… anyways I was returning the movies. Walked into the library. I tried to just return them, get in, get out,  but something was messed up with the book drop. I guess some kid tried to wedge multiple items in there at once and the said items were a bit sticky or something, so I had to return my stuff at the front desk. But… that’s when I saw her,

Kiera: Saw who?

Brad: The most beautiful girl I’d ever seen. She had gorgeous dark skin, and brown curls that softly brushed against her face. She had these bright orange cat eye glasses that drew a sharp contrast to the darkness of her complection and complemented the brightness of her smile, and behind them were light brown eyes that sparkled in the light. She was radiant. Every bit of her was made of sunshine. And for a moment, she smiled, and the world and everything in it seemed to hold its breath.

I was paralyzed. All I could do was look at her. I probably just stood there for a solid ten seconds before her head turned, and her hair fell in front of her face. I slowly walked to her desk.

I handed her my movie, and I thought about asking for her number, but I got kind of nervous and I didn’t want her to think I was some annoying idiot. Turning in a movie instead of a book was probably bad enough in her eyes. So I just kind of chickened out and started wandering around the library, kind of peeking through the shelves a bit. Which I realize sounds kind of stalker-ish when I say it out loud. I swear I’m not a stalker. She was just so radiant, I could hardly look away. So, I was just doing that. I was kind of scared.

Kiera: Why were you scared?

Brad: I, uh… I don’t know, I just didn’t really know how to react to her, I guess. I don’t really know how to explain it. I never experienced anything like that before.

Anyway, I finally came up with the grand scheme of checking out a book for an excuse to approach her again, maybe this time, I wouldn’t be intimidated, maybe I would be able to… you know… talk to her. Of course the book I checked out had to be the perfect book. Something that would maybe make her look up just a bit, and of course something that I felt like I could actually read all the way through, so if I came back and returned it and she was here I wouldn’t make a fool of myself.

So I looked for a long time and thought very carefully about it. I finally decided to look for some kind of sci-fi book. I always enjoyed sci-fi movies and such, so I thought that hopefully, something in that vein wouldn’t be too hard for me to get into. I ended up with, uh, Frankenstein. I think I was supposed to read it at some point in high school… but uh… that never happened. So it felt like I was fulfilling some responsibility as well as maybe, well hopefully impressing the “girl of my dreams.” And then I thought, “Who makes a whole trip to the library for just one book?” Not a well read person, that’s for sure. And obviously I wanted her to see me as a well read person. So I decided to pick two more. I uh ended up with 1984, which side note is a great book that everyone should read. I mean, I see why it’s not required reading, it does contain a bit of mature content, but it’s so good. Anyways, I ended up with 1984 and one of Kurt Vonnegut’s books. Slaughterhouse Five I think?

Kiera: Ooh that’s a good one.

Brad: Yeah, yeah. So I had all the books I needed. I took a few breaths and worked up all of the courage I muster. I started to walk to the counter, but when I got there she was gone. I kind of waited around a bit, pretending like I was still browsing. But she never came back. I finally just checked out the books and left. I threw them in the back seat of my car, upset at myself for being silly and wasting time dreaming about a girl. But then when I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about the whole experience, especially her. So to distract myself, I got the books out of the car and started reading. I checked them out, so I might as well read them, I thought to myself. I started with the Vonnegut first. It was a bit shorter out of all of them, so it didn’t seem too intimidating. And actually I really got into it. It took up my whole attention, and I ended up staying up pretty late to keep reading.

It took me three days to finish it. And so three days later I had an excuse to go back to the library. And wouldn’t you know, there she was. I handed her the book, and she flashed that same breathtaking smile at me. I opened my mouth to speak to her… and then closed it and walked away. I went straight home and started reading Frankenstein. I was back two days later, but she wasn’t there. 1984, back two days later. She was there, wearing a bright yellow dress, which made her look like she was wrapped up in sunlight. And finally, I had a reason to talk to her. I walked up, handed her the book, and started talking. I told her the three books I had just read and asked her for help finding more to read. She smiled and told me she’d be happy to help me find some new titles. I left that day with a stack of ten books. I went home and started reading before I even took off my shoes. I don’t remember all of the individual books, but, uh, one of my favorites from that trip was The Martian.

The next time I saw her, I asked for even more recommendations. She introduced me to Lord of the Rings and H.P. Lovecraft. I asked her what her favorite book was, and she told me Alice in Wonderland. So naturally I checked that one out too of course.

And then suddenly… She was gone. I went back and she wasn’t there. I ended up going to the library every day for weeks, trying to be there at just the right time. But no luck. And I’d never even learned her name.

I finally decided to ask the other librarians about her. I told the older lady at the desk that one of the other librarians had been helping me find books, but I hadn’t seen her in a while, and then I described what she looked like. They said her name was Amber. I remember thinking that was the perfect name for her, because of the way her eyes reflected the light. It made me smile. But then the woman continued to tell me that Amber had moved out of state to a library that was about to open, and my heart dropped to the floor. I thanked her and left.

When I got home, I thought, “well, there’s no reason to go to the library anymore I guess.” But I still had a decent amount of books checked out, so I’d have to return those. But I figured first I might as well read them…So I did. But then some of those books had sequels or were parts of series. So obviously I had to read those too. And then there were the other books by those authors, and then there were books that I had heard of before but never read, and books referenced in the books I liked. So even though I didn’t keep going every day, I still ended up at the library about three times a week.

And something funny happened in the months following those couple of times I saw her. While I still wanted to see Amber again of course, going to the library slowly became less about that time I spent with her. I found myself reading types of novels that I would never have thought I would like, and falling in love with them. Epic fantasy novels, classics, even some poetry. Sci-fi and dystopian novels were still my favorites, but I developed a taste for memoirs and autobiographies as well.

And then before long, I actually kind of started to forget about her. It was all about the books.

Until, of course, one “fateful day”, as always happens in the books, you know? I was browsing the library, and someone next to me dropped a book, and I bent down to pick it up, and when I went to hand it to them…
It was her. I gave the book to her, and she smiled and thanked me, and then she was about to move on, and then she frowned. She asked me

“You look familiar, we’ve met before right?”

I nodded, speechless yet again.

“Oh right! You’re that guy that asked me for book recommendations a couple of times!”

And then we actually talked for a while. I asked her how everything was at the other library, and she smiled and told me how wonderful it was, how she had met someone there, how they had gotten engaged, how she was back in town for a bit so her parents could spend some time with the both of them before the big day. And I told her about how I’d really gotten into reading and how I really did enjoy Alice In Wonderland, and I really did see why she liked it so much. And there was just a good long moment with just the two of us there in that aisle in that library talking. And then pretty soon it was over, and she moved on to the aisle on one side and I moved on to the aisle on the other, but we both kept on browsing. And then, I checked out my books, I went home, I imagine she did the same. And I never saw her again.

As I walked away, I finally began to realize, that yeah, initially my reason for entering the library the second day, and the third, and fourth, and the fifth and so on, initially it was because I wanted to see her, to talk to her. But it became more than that after week three. My visits became less regular but still persisted. They transitioned into fostering something greater than some cheesy “love at first sight” romance, but it was a passion for reading. And maybe I’ll never talk to her again. But that’s okay. It’s not about that. The point is… I thought I was in love, when I wasn’t even close. But that’s what it took for me to discover something that is now such a big part of who I am. It was nice to get closure too.

Kiera: Yeah?

Brad: Of course. She met someone, and I found something important to me. It all worked out in the end. Just not really how I initially thought it would.

[End of interview]

Kiera: Well, that’s all for today! I hope you enjoyed this installment of Hometown. We’ll see you next time, until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story!

[Outro music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera, and T. H Ponders as Brad. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to Crystal Summers for her writing advice, and Brad Seibert for donating to our Indiegogo campaign.

If you like our show and want to hear more as well as get rad rewards, be sure to support us on patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our patreon at patreon.com/seibertandseibert. That’s P A T R E O N dot com slash S E I B E R T and S E I B E R T

Keep up with us on twitter and instagram at hometowncast, and find transcripts and merch on our website at hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our discord community.

Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode Jenne on June 13th.

Until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story

Sarah Transcript — May 29, 2019

Sarah Transcript

You can download a PDF version here.

6 – Sarah Transcript

[Hometown theme fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[Theme fades out]

Kiera: Welcome back to Hometown! I’m so glad you’re here! In today’s interview, I spoke to Sarah, a professor at the local community college. I will warn you there are parts of her story that are… really sad. But I think that ignoring those parts of her story is the opposite of what we’re trying to do here. Ignoring reality could destroy the sense of community that I am searching for through this project. So I would encourage you, if you can, to just sit back and listen to Sarah’s story. It may not be the same hopeful tone as we usually take here, but I think you still will enjoy it. And maybe, you can make yourself a nice cup of tea, as she did for me when I interviewed her.

[A new environment. Light rain can be heard]

Kiera: Thank you so much for having me over. And for agreeing to the interview., and for this wonderful tea.

Sarah: Of course, it’s really no problem. It’s Saturday, I’m not busy at all. And I don’t exactly get a thrill from being outside when it’s cold like this. I am a bit worried my cat might come in and disrupt the recording. Is that going to be a problem?

Kiera: It should be fine. Most of the recordings aren’t exactly done in a clean environment as it is.

Sarah: Alright. Now, is there anything in particular, you’re wanting to talk about?

Kiera: Not really, I like to just leave it up to the person speaking. Feel free to tell your story, especially in relation to the town. Um… if you want to start by just introducing yourself a bit, that’s what most of my guests do. Remember we keep the town’s name anonymous, so feel free to speak openly.

Sarah: Well, my name is Sarah. I’m a professor at a college near here. I grew up in this town, but after graduation, I left for college. I was gone for a long time. I got my Ph.D., and then I became a professor at a large college up north. Near a big city.

Kiera: Oh, should I be calling you doctor..?

Sarah: [She laughs] only if you want to take one of my classes. Well, sometimes I make people who are annoying me call me Doctor as well…

As I said, I grew up here, and as you can see, I ended up back here after a while. I didn’t move away because I didn’t like it here, I always had good memories of home. Living far away… it was just sort of the way things turned out. But my childhood was filled with memories of sunny days at the park, and friends at school. I have so many good memories here…

I remember my mother taking me to her usual errand runs and my favorite shops which would have little bowls of lollipops or hard candies.  I remember the ladies in church who would smile at me when I walked in with my Easter dresses. I remember falling in love for the first time, with a boy at my school, and the ache that followed me when he didn’t love me back. The first pains of love that won’t be. [A beat] And I remember graduating from the high school here, and saying goodbye to my parents as I moved far away to school. But even then there were the summers I would come back and live here again. And there were the jobs I worked during those summers, the jobs that you want to forget, like working at a fast food place, and the jobs that shaped you in a way, like working in the library.  [She laughs softly] Here I go babbling on.

Kiera: You certainly have a way with words. You must be quite the professor. What do you teach?

Sarah: [Another soft laugh] I certainly would like to think so. But I’m not sure if my students would quite agree. And I teach English.

Kiera: Why do you say that? Are you a super strict teacher?

Sarah: I wouldn’t say that, but I think I am known for grading pretty hard. But they get better by the end of the year, so I believe it’s justified. Besides, I’d never let a student fail if they were trying their best. And I still give out 100s. You know, some teachers don’t believe in giving 100s on essays, because “there’s always something to improve”. But I think an essay can deserve that high of a grade. Of course… sorry I’m getting off track here. I tend to have very strong opinions about the way I teach my class. But I suppose that’s how most professors are.

Kiera: That’s alright. You can talk about anything here.

Sarah: I’ve always loved being a professor. I love teaching of course, but there are other things I love too. Spending every day in a place that encourages learning and deep study of people’s specific passions… I love the endless notebooks and books I’m always sifting through in my office. I love that I have constant access to the extensive resources at my school. And I even like grading papers most of the time. It’s an amazing gift to be able to read the thoughts and ideas of bright young minds. And to see the change in the way they write over the course of a semester, that feeling that I helped them accomplish something, helped them to better themselves. My students are my greatest successes. I must admit, however, that I miss my position at my previous university greatly.

Kiera: Why did you leave?

Sarah: (softly) I ran away, I suppose.

Kiera: (Also softly, cautiously) What happened?

Sarah: There was… a man. It wasn’t really his fault. It was mine.

Kiera: Do you want to… talk about it?

Sarah: I met him on the walk to the university I used to work at from my apartment. It was about seven years ago. I still remember the day I met him like it was yesterday. It was in early December. It was cold outside, the tiniest snowflakes falling softly from the sky. I was  wrapped up in my coat and scarf, holding a thermos of tea in gloved hands. I turned the same corner I had turned for hundreds of mornings before. And then suddenly there he was, asking me for directions. [She laughs softly] And I could barely focus on what he was asking me.

I’d never believed in love at first sight, but the moment I saw him, there was… something about him. I immediately knew that now there would always be this point in my life, that one day, that one moment, that changed everything. The way that one event changed the way we counted time. The story of my life would be counted in the same way as we count our years… before him and in the year of him. My life as I knew it was over in one second, in one look, in one glance of his dark eyes, his lashes covered in tiny snowflakes.

But of course… I’m good with papers and books, but not so gifted in the art of small talk or flirting. So rather than smoothly introducing myself, I just kind of blurted out my name. I… don’t even think I said “I’m Sarah”, I think I actually just yelled “SARAH” at him. I was mortified. But he simply laughed and told me his name. And then he asked me for directions. Except… he asked me for directions to the place I worked. It turned out he was a new professor at the same university I worked at. And I knew that God, or fate, or whatever force controls the universe, even just math or probability, had given me this one, priceless gift.

And so we walked together. And he smiled at my nervous chatter, and he filled my awkward silences with the most beautiful words and stories I’d ever heard. And then we got to the campus and he laughed and told me he didn’t pay close enough attention to the way, and I’d have to show him again that afternoon, and we agreed to meet at a certain time.

All of my classes that day passed in a blur. After that, we started walking together back and forth, every single day. I felt myself falling deeply in love with him. It felt like… slowly sinking into a thick syrup, drowning, and yet full of life. It felt like sickness, like disease that kept me from doing anything but think of him, and I understood the word “lovesick” for the first time. Like a sweet aching, a pain in my chest that brought a smile to my lips. Every moment outside of those walks was agony. My poor students had no idea why their usually very consistent teacher couldn’t focus on a thing. And I couldn’t sleep. And even eating or drinking tea didn’t satisfy me. Only being around him. I was obsessed.

And that was how the winter passed. I never told him I loved him, nor did he ever say anything to me of the sort. But I was completely certain it was mutual. There was a bond between us, a connection too strong to be anything but the truest and purest love shared between two people who were meant to be. How could my heart feel intensely if his didn’t? The universe brought us together. It was fated, written in the stars, just as in every great story ever told.

By mid January, I was teaching with more passion for the literature than ever before. I felt the burning of love that the women from those timeless stories felt. I read through newly opened eyes. The skepticism inside of me fell away and made room for the childlike sense of wonder that I had never felt before. And then February came.

On Valentine’s day, I felt sure that some romantic gesture would come from him. He would confess his love for me. Or bring me flowers. Anything would have been enough. Valentine’s day must be the day, I thought. But nothing happened. Instead, he texted me, telling me he couldn’t walk with me that day. I don’t remember the reason he gave. I was devastated. What could I have done? I must have wronged him in some way without knowing. Perhaps I had come on too strong, or maybe I hadn’t done enough. My mind was filled with doubt after doubt, going over every moment with him since the day we met, looking for where I had gone wrong. And yet every morning and every afternoon following, there he was, with a smile, carrying on the conversation as we walked as normal.

Finally, after a week of this absolute mental torture, I marched into his office, ready to confess my love for him and beg him to love me back. I burst into his office, and he smiled when he saw me. That beautiful, wonderful smile that I had fallen in love with all those weeks before. He kindly told his student to come back later, and asked me what was the matter. And that’s when I saw it.

You see, every time I had seen him up until that moment, that terrible, fateful moment, it had been outside, in the dead of winter, for a long walk to and from the university. And so every time I had seen him, he had been wearing a coat, and a scarf, and a hat, and… gloves. But there, in his office, he stood before me in simply his glasses, and sweater, and slacks. And I saw… his wedding ring.

I was speechless. My mind went completely blank. The river of words and emotions that had been running through my head for as long as I could remember was suddenly gone, dried up. I looked at his face, at his perfect smile. And then the tidal wave crashed. And then my heart broke.

I had fallen in love with a married man. I ran away to cry in peace. I racked my brain for any memory of him mentioning his wife. I came up empty. I really truly had no idea, although looking back long after, I do not think he purposefully deceived me. I took the next week off. It hurt more than anything I’d ever felt. Sleep was torture, I dreamt of that moment a thousand times, yet being awake felt even worse. He was married. I kept having these wild thoughts. Maybe he still loved me. Maybe it was an unhappy marriage. Maybe he hadn’t ever mentioned his wife on purpose.

And then… the agonizing moral debate that developed within me.  Could I be with a man who was married? I had been so sure that all of the forces in the universe wanted us to be together. I didn’t know how to reconcile my certainty in what I had felt  between us to the reality that had just presented itself. Everything I thought I knew changed. And then at the end of the eighth day, I broke down. The tears I had been crying near constantly ran out, and I came to a resolution.

I resolved to end all of the fantasies of being with him. I wouldn’t cut him off, for he had done nothing wrong, but I would cut myself off of him. Emotionally, it was over. I realized that even if he had ever loved me back, even the slightest glimmer in a single second where he looked at me and felt a single spark of what I felt for him, if he were to leave his wife for me, or stay with her and pursue me… then he wouldn’t be the man I could be with. He wouldn’t be the man that I loved.  

I had misread the stars. Meeting him wasn’t the start of the greatest love of my life, but rather the greatest friendship. And sure, it would take a while for my heart to stop breaking over and over every time I saw him. It would take time to fall out of love with him. But I would get there.  And so I went back. And I walked with him again, blaming my week of absence on the flu.

But that isn’t what happened. Around April, I realized my heart would always love him. And no one else. He took up all of the space in my heart, in a way I never could have imagined. Even my love for my subject, my life’s work, and passion paled in comparison to the bright burning of the sun that he was in my heart.  And I knew that sun would burn for the rest of my life. My heart was breaking twice a day. And I could feel it draining me, I could feel myself becoming a shell of who I was.

And so at the end of April, I went to the HR department and told them I wouldn’t be coming back the following semester to teach. I said it was for family reasons, but really it was because I couldn’t bear just be friends with him, and yet to be anything more was…  impossible. But I knew I couldn’t go on like that.

And so I fled. I came home. I never told a soul what happened, why I still had no ring on my finger after all these years, why I never try to go on dates, why I don’t talk about having a family one day. Because all of those things were stolen from me. Stolen by a little gold band that made a world of difference. And that’s why I will live and teach here for the rest of my life, forever remembering what could have been, and dreaming of the life I could have led.

[The rain continues for a bit and then fades out.]

Kiera: Thank you for listening to Hometown. Until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Outro music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera,  and Jackie Jorgenson as Sarah. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to Crystal Summers for her writing advice.

If you like our show and want to hear more as well as get rad rewards, be sure to support us on patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our patreon at patreon.com/seibertandseibert. That’s P A T R E O N dot com slash S E I B E R T and S E I B E R T

Keep up with us on twitter and instagram at hometowncast, and find transcripts and merch on our website at hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our discord community.

Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode Brad on June 6th.

Until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

 

John Transcript — May 22, 2019

John Transcript

You can download a PDF version here.

5 – John Transcript

[Hometown theme music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[Music fades out]

Kiera: Hello and welcome back to Hometown! If this is your first time with us- welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. I have a very special episode for you today. Today’s guest, John, is a father of two absolutely precious little girls. When I showed up for the interview, he answered the door a bit… frazzled. He explained that bedtime had run a little late that night and so he still had some things to do before he could talk to me. I asked him if it was anything I could help with, and he said he just had to tuck in his girls and tell them a story. So… naturally, I told him that stories are just what I’m looking for and asked if I could possibly sit in with my microphone. After a really long and frankly painful silence, he said he guessed it would be fine.  And I’m glad he did! I think you’re really going to enjoy it. I’m going to share the audio from my interview with him first, and then the story he told. So… here it is!

[Cut to the interview]

Kiera: Okay, I’m recording again.

John: Oh uh okay. Should I say something in particular?

Kiera: You can just introduce yourself if you’d like. Whatever you’re comfortable with.

John: My name is John and I… uh… well I uh… don’t really know what to say. I have two kids, but they would have just heard that right?

Kiera: I’ll probably put the interview first in the episode.

John: Oh okay. Well I have two little girls.

Kiera: How old are they?

John: One is six, the other is five. But they’re about a year and a half apart. T- uh, the older one is almost seven.

Kiera: How cute.

John: Yeah, and they get along pretty well. Hopefully that lasts.

Kiera: How long have you lived here?

John: A while… we moved here right after college. When I got married, we chose to live here because of a job opportunity for the uh, wife. Never had a good reason to leave. I don’t love my job, but I don’t think I could ever risk it by leaving it without having another one lined up. Plus the girls like it here, and they’re in school now. I’d hate to uproot them. And then there’s the memories of my wife.

Kiera: Do you want to talk about..?

John: Uh, not really. Not cause it’s too painful or anything like that. I just… I don’t think we need to go there.  She died four years ago. It’s been a while. We all get by.

Kiera: Alright. I understand.

John: But yeah, we uh… moved into the house when we decided to start a family. Live the American dream. Stable job, nuclear family. All that stuff. And… well, we’re still here. [He chuckles] It’s the right amount of space. Not too big, not too small. Nice backyard for the girls to run around and [He chuckles] play princess in. They get picked up by the school bus, and there’s a daycare close by for the summers. I try to be here for them as much as possible, but I also want to provide them with everything they could ever need. Which means working long hours sometimes. Well actually a lot of times. Our next door neighbor is sweet though, and she takes care of them sometimes when I have to work late. [laughing]And she brings us casseroles. I can cook, but it is hard to keep up with all of it, so I still appreciate it.  You know, all the job, the cooking, the cleaning, and just trying to be there for them. I pretty much run on coffee. [he laughs] I drink probably at least four cups, but some days it’s more. Especially on long nights when I put the girls to bed for the night, roll up my sleeves, and start cleaning the house. I barely get any sleep at all on those nights.

My whole world revolves around the girls. I don’t want them to have to miss out on anything. I get up every morning, make sure they eat breakfast and get all their books, and do their hair. I’m pretty good at braiding.  It took me a while to learn though. And I pack them lunches almost every morning. I don’t know. I just try to give them all the things that the other children have, and more, if possible.

Kiera: They seem happy.

John: I hope so. It makes me happy when they’re happy. They’re my entire world. I can already tell that uh, the older one is real smart. She’ll probably go way beyond my abilities before too long. They’re both going to do amazing things. And I’ll always be their dad, making sure their backpack is zipped up before they run out the door. I won’t be able to keep up with them forever, but I’ll make sure they never turn back and don’t see me there cheering them on. Of course, my job is rather demanding, there’s nothing I can do about that, but I make it work. Maybe someday I’ll be able to work from home. That would make things much easier.

[Pause]

Kiera: What was it like when you moved here?

John: Um, it was nice. I mean, it’s kind of a quiet town. But we liked it a lot. When we moved here we had just gotten married. She had the job lined up, and I started applying as soon as I got here. The first month or so though I was just kind of… fixing things up. We had a little apartment, but it was pretty much a disaster. I had a deal with the landlord that he would reduce the rent while I kept fixing things up. It was nice. I like working with my hands sometimes, and it impressed my wife, which was definitely a bonus. And then after a while, I managed to get a job. Nothing special, just your typical office job.  I was here for her anyways. She was always the one who was meant for great things. She had sparkling energy and big dreams. I was just happy to be along for the ride.

But uh, yeah we liked it here a lot. I mean, we liked it here enough to stay right? I can’t say I have a lot of friends here. We did when we first moved here, and then we had the first baby and we kind of talked to them less, and then when she died they all tried to help, but eventually, they just realized I needed to be left alone. I guess I just didn’t really have time to keep up with all of them. Anyways I knew they mostly came around for her. I’m… not the most sociable person, and it started to feel pretty awkward once we got off of the subject of her. I tend to come across a bit cold I suppose. [Pause] But I do like it here. It’s a good place for the girls to grow up. Plenty of opportunities in school. And I can take them to ballet on Saturdays just five minutes away. They really like ballet.

The older one likes it more than the younger one I think. The younger one is more into rough and tumble stuff. But it’s good for both of them I think. And they have friends in their classes. If she decides it’s not for her after a while she can try something else. Maybe I’ll turn into a soccer mom. [He laughs]

Kiera:  [also laughing] Please no.

John: I think that might be good for her though. We’ll see.

[Cut to next scene]

Kiera: Okay I’m recording now. And you’re sure this is okay?

John: Sure. Say hi girls.

The Girls: hi…

John: Okay we’re just going to go to bed like normal, and uh Miss Kiera, is just going to sit over there. Did you both brush your teeth?

Girl 1: Yes.

John: Okay then, are you ready for a story?

Girl 2: [Excited] Yes!

John: [Softly laughing] Okay okay. Let me think…

Girl 1: Tell the one about the knight and his two fairies!

Girl 2: that’s my favorite!

John: [Joking] I don’t think I remember that one… let me think…

[The girls giggle]

Girl 1: Stop Daddy! Tell the story!

John: Alright alright! Once upon a time there was a knight called Sir Fix-a-Lot.

Girl 2: Why did they call him that?

John: Because Sir Fix-a-Lot could fix anything that was broken in all of the lands. Once, there was a big competition between all of the knights of the round table to see who could fix the most things in a day, and Sir Fix-a-Lot won the competition, as well as the heart of the fairest lady in all of the land… but that’s a story for another night.

So because of this and many other honorable deeds, Sir Fix-a-Lot gained some respect in the King Arthur’s court. But Sir Fix-a-Lot was not a very good fighter. And everyone knows the number one job of a good knight was to fight for king and country, and win jousts and duels and tournaments too. But Sir Fix-a-Lot was still one of the happiest knights in the entire land. Do you know why?

Girl 2: The fairies!

John: That’s right. You see, Sir Fix-a-Lot, though his talents were somewhat limited, had been trusted with a very important and special task. The king of the fairies had visited Sir Fix-a-Lot a couple of years before and asked him to take care of two young fairies. They couldn’t stay in the land of the fairies, because they were princesses, and they would be in danger if anyone knew where they were. So they stayed with Sir Fix-a-Lot because no one would suspect that a knight who wasn’t skilled in combat would be trusted with the princesses of the fairies! But Sir Fix-a-Lot did his very best to take care of the fairies. He made a very special bed for them in the drawer where he used to keep his socks.

Girl 2: Eww did it smell like dirty feet in there?

John: [He laughs] No he cleaned it out first, silly. And anyway he had only kept clean socks in it before. But he made them a very nice bed in his drawer, and he brought them the sweetest cakes every day to eat because as you know, cake is the only food that fairy princesses eat. Except for very special occasions, on which they eat brussel sprouts, their favorite food.

Girl 1: Yuck.

John: And so Sir Fix-a-Lot had one of the most important jobs of anyone in the land. But he also had to have another job, to keep his title of knight of the round table, and so he could buy the cakes and brussel sprouts for the fairies. And so he was assigned to the task of watching over the gate into Camelot.

Unfortunately, this was not exactly a very fun job. In fact, it was an extremely boring job. All day he had to say the same thing over and over, sitting on a horse, and reading long, boring lists of everything that people brought into and out of Camelot. And so he had to leave the fairies every day and go to this long boring, boring job. But he wouldn’t get too sad about how boring it was, for one simple reason. The two little fairies were in the process of learning how to use magic. And they worked hard every day to learn how to use all of their very special skills. And one day, a while back, when he came home, they were so excited to give him a gift! They had made a picture of the three of them, a memory from a night when they all were having a lot of fun together.

Sir Fix-a-Lot counted this picture as his most prized possession. He kept it with him all day, and whenever he felt sad or didn’t have the strength to keep plowing through his boring, boring job, he would take it out and look at it and remember how lucky he was to have the two fairies under his care. And so the three of them were happy for all of their years together.

Girl 1: Did the fairy princesses have wings?

John: They sure did. The most beautiful wings you had ever seen.

Girl 2: Did they get to fly whenever they wanted?

John: They had to practice flying. Flying is very similar to dancing. It’s a skill that takes many years and lots of hard work to master, especially if you want to stick the landing.

Girl 2: I want to be able to fly…

Girl 1: What kind of cake did they eat?

John: All kinds. Sir Fix-a-Lot was great friends with the palace cook, and so she would give him cakes of all kinds for the fairies to enjoy.

Girl 1: Did they wear very pretty dresses?

John: They did, they were made of… hang on I see what you girls are trying to do here, you’re trying to ask me a bunch of questions so you can stay up later aren’t you? Well that’s not going to work on me. It’s time for bed.

Girl 1: Please daddy one more story?

John: Not until tomorrow night. Good night silly girls.

[Cut to next part]

Kiera: Thank you for listening to Hometown. And as always, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Outro music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera,  Nick Armstrong as John, and Valorie Hall and Cate McKay as the girls. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to John Bonney for donating to our indiegogo campaign.

If you like our show and want to hear more as well as get rad rewards, be sure to support us on patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our patreon at patreon.com/seibertandseibert. That’s P A T R E O N dot com slash S E I B E R T and S E I B E R T

Keep up with us on twitter and instagram at hometowncast, and find transcripts and merch on our website at hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our discord community.

Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode Sarah on May 30th.

Until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

Lauren Transcript — May 8, 2019

Lauren Transcript

You can download a PDF version of the transcript here.

4 – Lauren Transcript

[Hometown theme fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[theme fades out]

Kiera:  Hello, and welcome back to Hometown! I’m so glad you’re here. Today, you’ll hear from Lauren. Something about her story really stuck with me. And I hope it does for you too.

[Cut to interview, controlled environment, indoors]

Kiera: Okay, whenever you’re ready.

Lauren: Wait just like that? Well how do I start?

Kiera: It’s up to you. You can start by introducing yourself if you’d like.

Lauren: Okay… well, you can call me Lauren. Um… I grew up in this town with my parents and my little sister,  and I’m here again now. I haven’t lived here my whole life, I’ve floated around a fair amount, but I always come back here I suppose. I’m… well, I’m 28. I graduated from the high school here 10 years ago.

Kiera: And after you graduated?

Lauren: I didn’t go to college if that’s what you mean. I was never good at all that uh, school stuff. Not like my sister. She could do all my math homework and she was a year below me in school. By the time I graduated she was way ahead of me.

Kiera: Did that bother you?

Lauren: No, not really. She used to tell me that if I worked hard I could do all of the same things, but I think she finally realized that we’re just different. I was always more of a social person, she was more into school stuff. It’s okay. We both get along in life just fine.

Kiera: What do you both do?

Lauren: [proudly] She’s an elementary school teacher. She’s a wonderful teacher. She could have done anything really, changed the world and made lots of money, but she chose to teach. Her kids love her so much. She always talks about them– how proud she is of them. She can make anyone feel smart, even me. And… let’s just say that’s kind of far from the truth.

Kiera: And what do you do?

Lauren: Oh, just whatever retail or waitressing job I can pick up. Mostly waitressing. I started as a carhop in high school, and now I just kind of work wherever I can. Like I said, I’ve moved around a lot. I kind of just follow the breeze and see where I end up. I like waitressing. You meet people a lot that way.

Kiera: Really? Most people I know complain about the people they meet when they waitress.

Lauren: Well I found it quite a good situation. I met most of the men I’ve dated waitressing. Course none of those lasted long. I’ve made some pretty fun girlfriends through my coworkers as well. You spend a lot of time together on the job, and closing and opening up. [jokingly] Of course another bonus is that I look quite good in a diner apron. I do generally get pretty good tips. You just keep up an airy conversation and soon enough there’s money on the table when you’re cleaning up. At least for me. It pays the bills and sometimes even helps me pay for the credit card. Most of the nicer things I own are gifts of course. But we all do what we can.

Kiera: Where are some places you’ve lived?

Lauren: Well I just kind of blow-through places I suppose. Breakups have a tendency to make me want to move. Sometimes I just get this feeling like I can’t breathe, and so I’ll pack up and seek out a new town. I’ve lived in lots of real small towns, and plenty of towns that are similar to this one in size. But I’ve also spent some time in big cities like Dallas, Atlanta, and such. I like being in places where I’ll be seen. [smiling] I also like living in larger areas where there’s lots of good shopping, and appreciation for fashion and such. But I think I always knew I’d come back here eventually. I’d come and stay here with my sister if I was between places for too long. She used to always have a place for me to stay, whenever I was ready she used to welcome me back.

Kiera: Used to?

Lauren: Yeah… she had to move to a smaller place recently. But she still says I’m always welcome. There’s pretty much nowhere for me to sleep though. I don’t really sleep too well on floors…

Kiera: But you live here now, right?

Lauren: Yes, in my own place for now. I found a cheap apartment. I moved back 2 years ago actually. It’s probably the longest I’ve stayed anywhere since I moved away the first time. I was living with my ex-boyfriend for a while in a nicer place, but it was time to move back.

Kiera: What do you feel connects you to this town? Why do you think you always end up coming back?

Lauren: I’ve always thought of a home as a place to land when you fall out of another place. And… that’s where here is. That’s a big part of it. I’ve fallen out of other places a fair amount. And of course I like moving around, but it isn’t like I’m pursuing some far-off dream when I leave. Except maybe finally finding a good man to take care of me. Getting married, not having to work at all anymore… you know.

Kiera: [flatly] I see.

Lauren: Oh come on, sweetheart surely you dream of that kind of thing. Living in a big house all day, and falling in love… No?

Kiera: Um, no not personally.

Lauren: Well I sure do. Hopefully I’ll get there someday. Most of the men I’ve been with back out as soon as I try to get them to commit more. I guess they don’t really take me seriously. But I don’t really know how to change that. [pause] A lot of people don’t really take me seriously actually. Like at my jobs. Or at school back in the day.

Kiera: What makes you say that?

Lauren: I don’t know. I don’t think my teachers tried as hard to help me understand things. I always felt like I was annoying them when I asked for help… like I was this ditzy blonde who really thought she’d ever learn chemistry? And then, of course, my classmates… well, I was popular. I was a cheerleader and homecoming queen, but a lot of the less popular girls seemed to think they were better than me somehow. [She pauses, contemplating] I think my sisters’ friends disliked me. But maybe that’s just pretty typical for high school.

Kiera: Well, I don’t think anyone is completely satisfied with their high school experience.

Lauren: [laughing] that’s probably true. [pause]

[sounds of Lauren digging through/moving purse]

Kiera: [grasping at straws to keep the recording going] I like your purse…

Lauren: Thanks! You a Louis Vuitton fan?

Kiera: Um… who?

Lauren: Louis Vuitton. The bag is a Louis. The designer? [surprised at Kiera’s confusion but laughs it off] Well it’s my favorite anyways. Of course, I always enjoy a good Tory Burch or Kate Spade.  I used to own a Prada bag once upon a time. [laughs again] I’m still not making sense to you am I?

Kiera: I’m afraid I’ve never really kept up with fashion designers. I just buy my purses from whatever department store. Most of my fashion choices tend to be pocket-based.

Lauren: [laughs] well a lot of mine were gifts. But I only have this one now.

Kiera: What happened to the other ones? Did you burn them after a breakup?

Lauren: [laughs] No, nothing quite so dramatic. But it’s kind of a long story.

Kiera: Well, we have time.

Lauren: Well it was a little more than two years ago, before I moved back here. I was living in Atlanta, working at a restaurant. Dating a man who took real good care of me. He bought me this purse and a few others, and some real nice jewelry. He liked to see me all dolled up when we went out with his associates. And of course, I always liked to get dolled up. I had lots of nice things back then, not just purses.

I had been living there for about 6 months. Me and this guy weren’t gettin’ serious or anything, we never talked about marriage, but we had been living together for a few months and it seemed to be going well.

Well one day at work, my boss comes and tells me, and he’s real flustered and unhappy about it, let me tell you, that someone  is on the line for me, and they won’t stop calling ‘til I talk to them. And so I hurried over to the phone. I knew if I took too long my boss would sure be unhappy with me. He already kind of had it out for me. You see, he didn’t take too kindly when I told him I was already seeing someone and couldn’t go to dinner with him.

But at that moment everything changed. On the other side of the phone was a nurse from the hospital here in town. She told me my sister had a heart attack, just that day. And that the whole time my sister kept telling the nurse to call me and tell me. So she did. [She pauses]

I finished out the work day in a blur, I didn’t know what to think. I don’t know anything about medicine, I had no idea if it was the sort of thing where she’d get some pills and be fine or if it was something she’d never recover from. That night, she called me herself, crying. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do, she had to spend at least another two nights in the hospital, and then there were all the other bills, and possibly a surgery, and then prescriptions for most likely the rest of her life. You know, she’s just on a teacher’s salary, and her husband don’t make too much either. Plus they have the two kids and… well, you know how it goes. [She pauses and takes a deep breath.] When I got off the phone with her, I did some deep thinking. I thought all night, I didn’t talk much to my man. I lied on my back just staring at the ceiling, thinking. A good deal more thinking than I had ever done. Mostly I just stick to my gut, but this… I really had to think about this.

The morning after, I waited for him to leave. Then I quickly packed up everything I owned and got what I could into my car. The rest of my stuff I shipped to myself. I didn’t have much furniture or anything, I just took a set of dishes and a couple of things from the place we shared. I left a note apologizing for the suddenness and briefly explaining that I had to take care of my sister.

Then I went to my job. And I collected what I had left on my paycheck and told my boss I wasn’t coming back. Then I drove here. I only stopped three times. Once to sleep in a little motel. Once at a pawn shop, to sell all of the jewelry I had acquired over the years of broken relationships. My beautiful pearls, and diamond earrings.  And once at a consignment shop, to sell all of the purses, all of the clothing, my beautiful dresses, my designer shoes. [aside] They didn’t take this purse because of this big scuff on the bottom, see?

And so I came home to my sister, still in the hospital, and spent the night in her room. And when the bill came in, I used everything I had from those things to help her pay for it. And I got a job waiting tables here. A good steady job, where I’m working hard and trying to move up to be a manager. I save all of my tips and help her pay for her prescriptions and her medical debts. My entire life changed so fast. Now I don’t buy any extra groceries, skin treatments, all of the things I used to enjoy. All that mattered was helping her. She still had to move to a smaller place, and she still struggles to make ends meet, but once I become a manager, I can take care of her.

Of course, that’s if I can. I’ve gotten passed over already twice. I mentioned people don’t take me seriously? [bitter laughter] My bosses act so surprised when I apply for manager positions, and it almost feels like they’re mocking me. But it doesn’t matter. I’ll do anything it takes because I have to. Because she needs me. And I’ll give up my reckless life until the day she doesn’t.

[End of interview]

Kiera: Thank you for listening to Hometown. And remember, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Outro music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera, and Sarah Wheatley as Lauren. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on Spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to Sarah Wheatley of The Nuclear Solution, Kaitlyn Kliman of the Insomnia Project, A R Olivieri of Great and Terrible and several other shows, Neon of Mise en Podcast, the people behind Palimpsest, T.H. Ponders of Accession and Tory of Athena for reaching out during the creation of this podcast. Be sure to check out all of their amazing shows!

If you like our show and want to hear more as well as get rad rewards, be sure to support us on patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our patreon at patreon.com/seibertandseibert. That’s P A T R E O N dot com slash S E I B E R T and S E I B E R T

Keep up with us on twitter and instagram at hometowncast, and find transcripts and merch on our website at hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our discord community.

Thank you for listening. Due to the complexity of the next episode we will be taking a week long break, so we’ll see you for our next episode John on May 23rd.

And until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

Julia Transcript — May 1, 2019

Julia Transcript

You can download a PDF version of the transcript here.

Episode 3 – Julia

Ashlyn: Hello everyone! Before today’s episode of Hometown, a bit of a warning about our content. This episode does contain some frank discussions about mental health, including anxiety. If that’s not your jam, we’d recommend you sit this one out.

And if you are able to join us, we’re really glad you’re here, and we hope you enjoy.

[Hometown theme fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[theme fades out]
Kiera: Hello everyone, and welcome to Hometown!

Today I’m sharing my interview with Julia. Julia is a high school student who has a lot to say, and even though I’m not in high school anymore, I still can relate to her a lot. Her story really made me think, and it gave me a fresh perspective that I hadn’t noticed   before.

[In a new environment]

Julia: Okay… are we all good?

Keira: We are all set.

Julia: Awesome. So… what did you want me to talk about?

Keira: Well, why don’t you start by introducing yourself?

Julia: Right. Uh, well my name is Julia. I’m in high school. I wouldn’t say that I’m extremely involved in everything. I mean, I’m in NHS, and I’m also in some art classes, but other than that I don’t do a whole lot other than just study. I used to be in theater, but then I realized I actually didn’t like it all that much. [She pauses] Uh, I guess I would call myself an Official Caffeine Addict. [She laughs] Um… I like to read, but I don’t really have too much time for that anymore. Except for the stuff they make us read in English of course. Although I’m probably one of the few that actually read, most people just rely on Sparknotes. I’ve got an SAT test in about a week, so I’m pretty much focused on studying for that right now. Um… what else is going on… I’m starting to do college applications. That’s kind of scary.

Kiera: That does sound kind of scary. Where are you applying?

Julia: Uh… well, I’m applying to the community college, cause just in case you know? And then one that’s still relatively affordable and close, and one state school that’s pretty big, and then after that, it’s mostly out of state.

Kiera: That’s nice.

Julia: Uh, yeah, it’s kind of exciting.

Kiera: You sure sound like you kind of have a lot going on… how do you balance all of the college, the school stuff and everything else you’ve got?

Julia: Oh boy um… I would say that I try to have a still good balance where I can get everything done and still have friends and all that, but uh in reality I would say my academic life kind of controls me. I mean, to a point where it’s like… oof.

Kiera: Okay… what do you mean by that?

Julia: Well, I’m constantly stressed, I don’t get enough sleep, and I rarely have time to take care of myself. And all those girls at school talking about how their skin care routines would just die if they heard about how I take care of myself. But I know a lot of people who pretty much have the same thing going on. It’s pretty normal for the students around here.

Kiera: That sounds really unhealthy. Are you sure that’s normal?

Julia: I mean, of course it is. It’s not like there’s another way.

Kiera: There isn’t?

Julia: Not really. I mean think about it. I’m in high school which means I’m basically at the point now where I’m determining my entire future.

Kiera: What does that mean?

Julia: Think about it. Your parents, your teachers, everyone… they’re all guiding you to go down the path to success. And this path that consists of school, more school, a well paying job, getting married, starting a family. And then your kids go to school, more school, they get a well paying job, they start a family, and it keeps going. And all of that,   the success of not just you but your children and their children and so on for all of eternity and amen? It all starts here. In high school.

And that’s what everyone wants in life right? Success. How do you obtain success? No matter what it means to you, you have to make money to have it. To make money, you have to have a strong career. To have a strong career you have to go to college and if you want a really strong career, and everyone does, it’s  gotta be a really competitive school. And to get into a competitive school you have to be in the top ten percent. To be in the top ten percent, you have to have a good GPA and to have a good GPA you have to take as many AP classes as you can and max all of them. [She pauses] Maxing a class is when you get a 97 or above. It’s how you get the most out of your GPA And AP classes are college level classes. When you take them, they have a higher GPA scale so it boosts your GPA a lot.

Then there’s another thing to consider: college is… really  expensive, and student loans aren’t an option, I mean we saw how that worked out for other people. So you need scholarships if you don’t want to go into crippling debt. How do you get them scholarships? You have make yourself into a quote “Well rounded kid”. You do extracurricular activities. You volunteer. You absolutely must do NHS. You have to show that you have leadership skills, so you take on as much responsibility as you can bear. And then of course you have to write essays about all the things you do.

So you take on all of these responsibilities and commitments, and try to juggle all of them together. You eventually realize that you have to budget your time very carefully, because there are only twenty-four hours in each day. And that really isn’t a lot of time all things considered. And you have to take time for eating, homework, extracurricular activities, studying for the SAT, writing scholarship essays, college apps… and at the end of the day, you have to cut something out, so sleep, self care, that kind of thing? It all just kind of go by the wayside.

Kiera: That really doesn’t sound healthy.

Julia: Oh it’s absolutely not healthy. But it’s what it takes. And it’s pretty much the norm. And since everyone else is doing it, it’s even more competitive. When it comes down to it, you have to be more than you think you can be. You can’t be just a “smart kid”. You have to be smart, and seem social, and be a leader in your community, and demonstrate creativity and critical thinking skills, and strengthen your writing and argument skills for essays. You have to do it all. You have to be it all. You can’t pick and choose, you can’t cut out one thing or the other. Because someone is always doing better than you. Someone else is doing all of it. So you can’t let your guard down for even a moment. Because you know, that if you do, you’ll be the only one.

Kiera: Well… why do you think that everyone sees this as the only way? I mean it just seems like a lot.

Julia: Um… I don’t know, I guess it’s just the way it is. It’s partially the culture, you know? The whole… American Dream. You can get whatever you want if you work hard. But you have to want it. You have to do whatever it takes. And that kind of transfers into everything else.

Kiera: So what is it that you want?

Julia: Um… success I guess. It’s not really that I want to be… rich or anything, I want what anyone wants for their future; I want stability and comfort. I want the chance to make something of myself, I want to be able to travel a bit, go to adventures, see Europe. I’d love to go to some of those art museums.

Kiera: So, do you feel like you’re participating in all of this because you have to, or is it so you can go to Europe and see an art museum?

Julia: I don’t think there’s a specific reason like that. It’s just… what I have to do. I want to make it clear. I don’t like that this is the way it works. I really don’t. But… it’s my only choice so… I have do it all anyway.

Kiera: So what are your feelings about all of this?

Julia: I hate it. It’s the worst, I know I’m stuck in this system that was made to basically weed the weak ones out. I can’t get out of it. I hate that!

Kiera: And did you always feel that way?

Julia: Yeah, I uh… I didn’t always feel so strongly I guess.

Kiera: So, what was it that changed your mind?

Julia: Well… a while back, I was really caught up in the whole system. I was truly trying to do more than everything. I mean don’t get me wrong, I still work really hard to get everything done, but I used to have even more commitments and I was so busy I was barely sleeping. And then, one day, I… basically broke.

I’m still not sure what the exact reason was. It could have been so many things. Maybe it was the fact that I had three tests in one day, two of them in AP classes, which are really hard. Maybe it was the fact that I was involved in some kind of toxic friendships, but I didn’t want to stop being friends with them because I didn’t have any other options. Maybe it was the fact that my GPA had slipped a bit more than I was okay with. Maybe it was just that I had a little too much coffee that week. Or probably, it was all of those things combined.

I found myself freaking out. Like, really freaking out. I was breathing really hard, I was crying, my heart was pounding. My mom comes in and she’s like ‘what’s wrong?” and I can’t tell her, because there isn’t one thing that’s wrong, it’s everything, it’s fact that I am not in control of a single thing in my life, and that I am not okay with anything that I’m doing, and… I just couldn’t handle it. It got really bad. I couldn’t get myself to talk to anyone, I could barely move. I was basically paralyzed. My parents thought I was having a seizure or something, so they took me to the ER. It turned out I had a really bad panic attack. The doctors thought it would be best for me to see a psychiatrist regularly after that.

Kiera:  How did that go?

Julia: Um… it was… at first, I didn’t like the fact that I had to be there, you know? I thought wow, I’ve officially lost my mind. Like I couldn’t… I don’t know I kind of just wasn’t okay with the fact that that’s where my life was and… I don’t know.

But… after a while, I realized that I wasn’t crazy exactly, I just needed help in a way that a regular doctor couldn’t fix by sending me home with some antibiotics. And I realized that everyone, they just wanted me to get better. And that talking to someone, a professional someone about everything was something I had desperately needed for a long time.

Kiera: Do you think it helped?

Julia: Yeah, I think it did. I had actually considered asking to see a therapist before that or something, but I just was too afraid to. You know… everyone thinks about mental health problems, and I understood the importance and I wasn’t really against it but it’s really easy to get intimidated about having a conversation about it. But after that, it was pretty clear I needed to see someone.

Kiera: That makes sense.

Julia: The worst part was, even though my life stopped, everyone else’s went on. There were still SAT’s I had  to take, I still had to make up those three tests from that week. Life doesn’t stop just because you get overwhelmed and have to go to therapy. Not that I was expecting for it to exactly, it just… everything would have been easier to handle if afterward I had a clean slate, you know? I mean, I dropped some extracurricular activities; that was when I quit theater, and I also had been in orchestra before that. I did stay in art class though. That didn’t really take any time outside of class, and making art was soothing. At one point during therapy, we talked about ways I could deal with my emotions in a healthy way. We talked about how writing or making music helped some people. I realized art could be a really good creative outlet for me. And so now, it’s kind of… how I deal with everything.

Kiera: So what is your process like when you’re creating? Like, what kind of art do you make?

Julia: Well right now, I’m into the whole abstract expressionism thing. I’ll do something a little bit outside of that usually for my assignments, but when I get the chance I’ll try to put an abstract spin on it if I can. But when I’m “just creating” I tend to use a bit more judgment. It’s a bit more strategic, a bit more symbolic. I think a bit more; for example, I’ll ask myself “what am I trying to say, and what approach would make the most sense in terms of saying it?” I ask myself a million questions on how much space I want to use and where everything will all go.

But when I’m having a bad day, I’ll just go. Sometimes I’ll keep going with the same project, sometimes I’ll start with a new one, but I’ll do everything I can to stop thinking, and just put my feelings out there. And usually, my teacher likes those works a bit more. It’s good to feel like something good can come out of my mess of a life. And I think those works are kind of more… honest if that makes any sense.

Kiera: Wow. That’s really cool.

Julia: Thanks.

Kiera: I feel like you’ve talked about a really wide range of issues. Is there anything else you want to say before we stop?

Julia: Uh yeah, look, I’m not going to say that all of my mental health problems or anyone else’s are a direct result of the culture that we live in today. We don’t have total control over our mental health, just like we don’t have control over who gets sick. But I’m also not going to ignore the fact that this intense and toxic school culture has a really negative effect on mental health overall.  I mean I know so many people who are depressed or have anxiety, or both, and I think that today’s culture does contribute to that quite a bit.

I know a lot of people who neglect their own personal well being simply because they see the limited time they have, and all of the things that they ‘need’ to do in order to be successful, and then they realize that they just can’t fit it all in. So they have to cut something. It’s just a question of what. For a lot of people, it’s sleep. For others, they  just forget to eat or forget to drink water. I know so many people who look at their day, and see that with school, and studying time, and maxing classes, and getting good GPAs, and having extracurricular activities in order to be the ‘well rounded student’ for college apps and stuff, they see all of it, they do a quick calculation, and when they realize that they can’t do it all, then almost all of them just sleep less, and hydrate with caffeine instead of water. And that’s a big problem!

I hear a lot of adults talk about how “today’s youth” is focused only on the here and now. And to a certain extent, that may be true. But what I think a lot of people forget is that we focus on the here and now for a reason. It’s not because we’re narcissistic, or addicted to technology. It’s because there’s an immense pressure to have a successful future, and that takes a lot of work. We do everything do to get good grades, and be in extracurricular activities and everything so we can get to college so we can get a job. And so when we do focus on ourselves, when we live in the present… it’s usually because we’re working so hard for our future we need to take a break from all of it. And I don’t necessarily think that’s wrong.

(End of interview)

Kiera: I really hope you enjoyed today’s episode. And remember. As always,

Don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Outro music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera,  Ashlyn Seibert as Julia. Hey, that’s me! Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to our parents for letting us do this crazy project.

If you like our show and want to hear more as well as get rad rewards, be sure to support us on patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our patreon at patreon.com/seibertandseibert. That’s P A T R E O N dot com slash S E I B E R T and S E I B E R T

Keep up with us on twitter and instagram at hometowncast, and find transcripts and merch on our website at hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our discord community.

Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode Lauren on May 9th.

Until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

Tom Transcript — April 25, 2019

Tom Transcript

You can download a PDF version of the transcript here.

2 – Tom

[Hometown theme fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[Theme music fades out]

Kiera: Hello and welcome back to Hometown. I’m so glad you’re listening! Today, we’ll hear from Tom. I met him in his house, and it sort of matches his personality. It was a little bit cluttered, but only in the most charming way.

[In a new environment. The reverb is slightly different.]

Kiera: Okay, I’m recording. Thanks again for being willing to talk to me.

Tom: Oh, uh… sure! Now… how would you like me to start?

Kiera: Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Tom: Oh, sure. Well, I’m Tom.

Kiera: …And um…. What do you do?

Tom: I’m… a writer.

Kiera: Really? That sounds… so interesting!

Tom: Yeah, kind of. I’ll do some freelancing when I get the chance. Or I’ll work on my own stuff.

Kiera: What kind of stuff do you like to write?

Tom: Oh, anything really. I especially enjoy poetry.

Kiera: That’s really neat.

[A dog barks, seemingly distant and muffled]

Tom: Um… oh, sorry. That’s the neighbors dog. Is that going to be a problem?

Kiera: No, it’s fine. You were saying that you enjoy poetry. I would love to hear a bit more about that.

Tom: Yeah, it’s actually funny how it all worked out though… I knew I wanted to pursue writing as a career, but I never really expected poetry to come as the main focus. I always imagined the typical write a novel, become an author, which looking back is crazy. I don’t think I have it in me to churn out novels for a living. And now, I guess I kind of see poetry as such a vital part of what I write. Not that much of it’s published.

Kiera: Well then, uh… what changed? I mean if you didn’t really see poetry as that important and now you do, must have been some kind of… something to prompt it, right?

Tom: Well, I grew up in the area, uh… sort of on the outskirts. My family owned some land, and we were farmers, you know? We mostly grew corn, nothing spectacular. We sold our crops, but it wasn’t like we made a ton of money off ‘em. It was kinda just… what we did. I remember doing stupid stuff with my brother and my friends when I was a kid. Like running around and messing with the animals a bit. Nothing mean of course, we’d just… [he chuckles] we had some sheep, and they’re not exactly known for being the brightest. So what you could do, is if you can get them to walk around in a circle, they’d just keep following the leader. And then, if you can get one of ‘em to hop over a stick, but remove the stick for the next sheep, they’ll jump regardless. I know it sounds kind of… boring maybe, but you know. They hadn’t developed the area as much as they have now. So there weren’t any frozen yogurt places or comic book stores to hang around. So, I guess you could say that I grew up a country boy.

But… after a while, things began to change. Right before my… must have been my freshman year in high school, the government decided that they wanted to buy up our land in order to build a road straight through it. There was a road near it, but it was in real awful condition, and they decided that the best solution was to go straight through our field! At that point, we weren’t exactly well off if you know what I mean. So my parents decided instead of being stubborn, knowing that there wouldn’t be much good coming out of that, to cut their losses, sell everything we couldn’t take with us, and move into a house closer to the center of town. It was hard to leave. I sure didn’t want to. I liked that house, those fields, everything about it. Sure there was always a lot of work to be done, but it was… home. And I was so frustrated and upset at the government because they took the most wonderful thing in the world away from me. They wanted to turn it into a simple road of all things! I didn’t care if it was for the good of the community. I didn’t care if it would make a lot of things easier for a lot of people. I just didn’t understand why it had to be our family out of the millions of families in the country.

Kiera: I’m… so sorry that sounds really hard.

[A lawnmower starts up]

Tom: It was. But that’s when I really got into poetry. I had a lot of… mixed feelings I guess. But that was how I sorted them all out. When I wrote, I didn’t always have to even think about what I was writing. If I could just get down to the core of what I felt, then the words… they just came out. I wouldn’t really focus much on rhyming or structure, since I was really just writing for myself. One time in English the following year, we had a unit about poetry. And I was so excited. But… I was pretty disappointed. We mostly studied poems with really rigid structures, and look, obviously I understand the merit behind sonnets and all that, and I can even enjoy writing a ballad every once in a while, but all we ever learned was formatted poetry. And I always got horrible grades because I couldn’t do that. I don’t think it makes me less of a good writer, but I just kind of gradually realized that sticking to strict rules was not going to work for me at all.

But yeah. In high school, I was pretty much either doing homework, or I was working on writing poetry. One time, I tried to enter in the school poetry slam. I thought “What could go wrong?” But really, I didn’t enjoy the rhythm I had to fall into, and then I had a hard time getting out of that, and not that there’s anything wrong with it, but I really didn’t enjoy the feel of like my voice, if that didn’t make any sense. e. e. cummings was my hero. He understood that in some cases, grammar and english rules get in the way of natural speech. But of course, we never learned to write like him in school. We just read some of his work, appreciated it, and moved on. Teachers were always showing us writers who freed themselves from certain rules, but never really gave us a space to explore that ourselves. And I understand. Those writers were professionals, we’re students.

[Dog begins barking in the background]

And it would be hard to incorporate much creative experimentation in a lesson plan. But, at the same time, it’d be nice if I’d had a space to explore that back in the day. I’ve kind of gotten of track here, mostly, I’m just trying to explain how important writing poems became. Pretty much anytime I felt anything, I’d find the nearest piece of paper, and I’d write a poem. Frustrated? It would explain my frustration in a way that was not hostile or hurtful. Happy? It would take a snapshot of that moment and extend it further than my own memory would allow. And when I started to struggle with my mental health, writing poetry helped me keep going. It felt like a validation of my feelings, and like I could get something positive out of the negative things happening to me. I wrote so many poems. When I got older, I thought about publishing a collection of them. I thought that maybe there was at least one other person in the world that was feeling what I felt, and it could bring some kind of comfort to them. The only problem was that I had my poems written in so many different places. Some notebooks, but also lots of pieces of paper, memos, the back of a receipt, and math worksheets from high school. Once I opened up an old favorite book of mine, and found a poem written on an index card I had used as a bookmark. There was no way I would be able to find everything I had written. But, I started looking for them. I put together a large stack, and I typed them all up one by one. And honestly, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. It was like I was reading snapshots from so many years of my life. It made me feel connected to my past, and the world. It took weeks, but before I knew it, I was typing the last poem I had found. And I saved them all to a flash drive. And then, [He chuckles]  I lost the flash drive.

Kiera: [Laughing, but also mildly pained] Oh no. Are you serious?

Tom: Hey! It happens! Fortunately, I didn’t throw away any of my papers. I kept them in one of those… you know… boxes that papers go in. But, I still haven’t gotten around to retyping all of them.

Kiera: You should!

Tom: Maybe I will.

[Environment fades out]

Kiera: Before I left, I asked Tom if he’d mind reading one of his poems. He agreed, and he began to pull out an old paper box, just like he’d described. He thumbed through it until he seemed to find what he was looking for.

[Back in the small room environment. A page flips.]

Tom: This one, I think would be good. It’s actually about losing my home, and how that also sort of meant losing a part of me as well. I think I worked on this one a bit more than my… scribbles.

[He clears his throat]

The wind blows

And the world sways

The crops in the field move

Left

Right

And so on

And so on

 

Then they sway all to one side

Then the world tips over

Collapsing, collapsing,

My world is small

And it’s falling to pieces

And i am falling to pieces

And all is falling to pieces

 

And the pieces sway in the wind

And the pieces fall to the ground

Far

Far away

Never seen again

My world has gone away

And I will never be the same

[A pause. In a different environment]

Kiera: I really enjoyed hearing Tom’s story. As he told it to me in our conversation, and then the simple emotional way that he conveyed it in the poem he shared. I also liked the small insight into his creative process that he gave. There was something very genuine about the way he phrased things that was charming. I hope you enjoyed listening to this conversation as much as I enjoyed having it. And as always, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[End credit music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera, and Harry Jeffrey as Tom. Today’s episode also featured the talent of Maddis, who is a very good boy. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on Spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to Crystal Summers for her advice, Tom Finke for donating to our Indiegogo campaign, as well as Harry, Dani, and Jonathan for being wonderful and supportive friends throughout this project.

If you like our show and want to hear more, as well as get some rad rewards be sure to support us on Patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our patreon at www.patreon.com/seibertandseibert that’s P- A- T- R- E- O- N .com slash S- E- I- B- E- R- T and S- E- I- B- E- R- T.  Keep up with us on Twitter at hometowncast and find transcripts and merch on our website at www.hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our discord community.

Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode, Julia, on May 2nd. And until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

Eliza Transcript — April 17, 2019

Eliza Transcript

You can download a PDF version of the transcript here.

1 – Eliza

[Hometown theme fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[theme fades out]

Kiera: Hello, and welcome to this the very first episode of Hometown! I’m Kiera and I’m so glad you’re joining me today.

Today I have our very first interview for you with Eliza, a history teacher at a middle school here in town. I really enjoyed talking to Eliza. She’s one of the bubbliest people I have ever met. I found her story to be very touching, and I hope you enjoy hearing it from her as much as I did.

[In a different environment, some light background noise is there as they are outside]

Kiera: Alright, I’m recording now!

Eliza: [Bright, cheerful] Awesome! Hello! [She giggles]

Kiera: [She laughs] Would you like to introduce yourself?

Eliza: Sure! I’m Eliza! Um… what else do I say?

Kiera: How long have you lived here?

Eliza: Oh, pretty much my whole life. I was born here, and I’ve never been away for more than a couple of months on trips and such. I love traveling. I don’t think anyone expected me to stay here in small town USA, I enjoy seeing everywhere else so much! But I couldn’t imagine ever moving away. Don’t you feel the same?

Kiera: I guess so.

Eliza: It’s just… such a nice place to come back to. I never feel like I’m tied up here, just like… I have… a soft place to land.

Is there  anything else I should say about myself?

Kiera: You can talk about whatever you’d like.

Eliza: Ooookayyy, well, I’m just a bit over thirty, just a tiny bit, which is crazy, where does the time go?! I’m not married, probably not gonna happen at this point. My mom always says there’s simply no person who can pull me out of the clouds long enough to get a ring on my finger. I think that’s a roundabout way of saying I have commitment issues? [She laughs] But… I just don’t like being tied down. And if I was to get married, and then have kids, well… but I do like kids a lot. I’m actually a teacher, but… still.

Kiera: What do you teach?

Eliza: Sixth grade history! I’ve always wanted to teach history since I was in high school, but I knew I didn’t want to work with high schoolers, or any kids too old. I’ve always loved little kids, but… I just wanted to teach history, not everything like elementary teachers have to do. It took a couple of years of having to teach other classes like health and some other grades of history but… I got into the position I dreamed of and I’ve stayed there ever since! And I love teaching. I love the kids, I love the subject, I love getting time off every summer to go on adventures, and I love the people I work with too. Several of the other teachers and me who started about the same time have a little lunch club. We meet up during breaks with whoever’s in town.

Kiera: You said you grew up here?

Eliza: Yes! Born and raised!

Kiera: What was your childhood like here?

Eliza: Oh, goodness let me think. I had a very… happy childhood. We had that classic American house with the big yard and it was just my parents my brother and me. We’d play with all of the kids in the neighborhood, and my mom would take us to play at the park almost every weekend. There was one close enough to walk to from our house, and I still drive by it sometimes. It’s changed a lot of course, which isn’t a bad thing. But, it’s made me a little sad to see them take out slides and everything I grew up playing on. They still have a swing set though, and that was always my favorite. Even when I was in high school I would walk down to the park and sit on the swing set with a date or just a friend… and we’d watch the sunset. [pause] I met my best friend at that park actually. We were just little kids.

I loved going to school here too. I mean, most of the time at least. I wasn’t really a super studious kid or anything. I mean, I always loved history of course, but mostly I just loved being around so many people. I was always very social. I got in trouble for talking too much in class kind of a lot. [She giggles] I had a lot of friends at school. No one cried more than me at graduation. I had to say goodbye to all those people I’d grown up with, and who knew if we’d ever all end up in the same place again?

I’m sure you can understand that feeling. You grew up here too.

Kiera: I can’t say that my high school experience was quite the same as yours…

Eliza: Oh, I’m sure it couldn’t have been that bad. I still get so happy when I see the people I went to school with around town. It’s fun to see these people I grew up with. I mean, I saw them when they were still elementary school kids running around and climbing on the monkey bars during recess. And then you watch them going through all of their awkward phases in middle school, and all of their crushes, and terrible relationships in high school, and then ten years later you run into them at the grocery store with their partners and beautiful kids. It’s crazy to think that before too long, I’ll probably be teaching history to children of some of the people who I graduated with. That’s going to make me feel old. [She laughs] But, it’s exciting. And of course I love hearing what people have done with their lives. Even most of the people who were kind of… unorganized all through school now have these stable jobs and are really really making something of themselves. It just makes me so happy to see! Um… does that answer your question? [She giggles]

Kiera: [She laughs] I think so. Don’t feel like you have to stick to some kind of script or anything, I just want to hear your perspectives.

Eliza: Alright! [She giggles]

Kiera: Um… you mentioned your best friend earlier? I was wondering if she still lives here.

Eliza: No, actually, that’s kind of a funny story.

Keira: I’d love to hear it!

Eliza: [She giggles] Alright. Well, like I said before, we met at the playground near my house. We lived pretty near each other, and it was the summer before second grade. She had moved here from a different state because of her dads job. We didn’t know each other before that day, but we just got a long so well and then we ended up in the same class that school year. After that it was pretty much sealed that we were best friends. We were always over at each other’s houses watching disney movies, painting nails, making friendship bracelets, and all kinds of general shenanigans that little girls get up to.

And we stayed friends through middle school as well, and in sixth grade we both went through some… really hard things that… brought us closer. She was like family to me. I told her everything. I’m a very social person, and I like having a lot of friends, but… I’m also a rather private person. She was the only person who I really told things to. Summers were the best of course. Long nights of sleepovers, and braiding hair, and whispering all night about the boys we liked, and who all the other girls liked, and “don’t you think so-and-so would be good with so-and-so?” Long hot days of trying to be like the cool high schoolers we saw on TV, laying out in the sun and then giving up after five minutes and splashing around in the pool. Running out to the ice cream truck when it drove by. It went on like that for seven years.

And then… the bad news came. Her dad had to move again for work. When her parents told her, she ran all the way to my house to tell me and spent the night. We were both just… crying and crying. We were in eighth grade at the time, and we had so many big plans about starting high school together and suddenly all of that was taken from us. We’d be going to high schools across the country from each other. We promised each other all kinds of things that night, promises about never forgetting a single moment of the last seven years, and finding each other again someday. We knew we wouldn’t be able to keep in touch. Long distance phone calls would be too great a financial burden on our families, and we didn’t grow up with email and texting. We woke up that next morning still hugging each other, and our parents let us stay home from school for a day.

Those last few months, while her house sold and she packed up all of her things, it was… so surreal! Nothing could stop the two of us from having fun together, but… everything that we did came with the terror of wondering “is this the last time we’ll do that?” At first it was only a few thing that made me wonder that, but as the day she was going to move quickly approached, everything could have been the last. Going to our favorite ice cream place, swinging on the swingset in the park where we met… and our summer was cut short too. Her moving date was right at the beginning of July. We only had June. We still had the friendship bracelets that we had made in second grade. We didn’t wear them of course, but we kept them! The day before she moved away, we put on matching burn bracelets –uh, bracelets that you put on by burning the ends together so that they can’t come off– and… we cried more of course. Saying goodbye to her… it was the worst in my life up until that point. And I never did forget her. And, I never had another friend like her, who things were just… easy with. I wasn’t lonely, I had lots of people around, but… it just wasn’t the same. Half of my heart was missing. Even into my twenties would think about her sometimes  and wonder where she was, and if she was married yet…

And then on my twenty-fifth birthday I got a notification on Facebook, a friend request. And it was her! I accepted and she messaged me asking if I remembered her, to which I said “Of course! How could I ever forget?!” And then we got to talk on the phone, talking for the first time in over ten years. And she told me that she saw the date, and remembered it was my birthday, even after all these years! And she suddenly thought of looking me up on facebook. We were both so excited to hear each other. It turned out she was living in Chicago. That same day, she invited me up to come visit her, and we worked out the plans over the next few weeks. And then suddenly I was on a plane, and then suddenly I was in an airport, and then suddenly there was my best friend, now a beautiful woman, holding a sign with my name on it, and I rushed to hug her, and suddenly we were both crying, but this time, they weren’t tears over all of the years we had lost, but tears over the joy of what we found again. And I stayed with her for a week, and it’s almost as if no time had passed and we were still those two little girls growing up here! That wasn’t the case of course, we had a lot to catch up on. But she told me all about her career, all about the things that had happened in her family, who I was also close to, and then she showed me the city! It was the happiest week of my life. I’m pretty sure we both only got a total of ten hours of sleep over the whole week. Of course, the week went by much too fast, and before we knew it, I was back home. Without her.

But since then, there has been many visits back and forth. And we talk on the phone for hours. It’s amazing to have my best friend back in my life. The first time she came back home, it was absolutely wonderful. We’ve revisited all of the places that we went together when we were young. Even though some of them had changed into other businesses. The last evening she was her that week, we went to the park where we met. And we sat on the swing set, the one thing that hadn’t changed in the whole park since the day we met. We sat there for hours talking just a little, fingers interlaced, holding tightly, as if by holding tight enough, we could make the evening last forever. And we watched the sun go down over the noise of the children playing, and we watched as little kids made new friendships, some of which would perhaps last them a lifetime. And then we watched them leave the park. One by one, family by family, going home to where they would dream about all of the adventures they would have the next day. And still, we just… sat there. Until darkness fell like a blanket. And the stars came out to play in the sky.

[A pause. A new environment, without the background noise]

Kiera: Thank you for listening to Hometown. Remember, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[End credit music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voices of Aubree Seibert as Kiera, and Tara Santora as Eliza. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on Spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hanna Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to Eliza Seibert for donating to our Indiegogo campaign.

If you like our show and want to hear more, as well as get some Rad Rewards be sure to support us on Patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our Patreon at www.patreon.com/seibertandseibert that’s P-A-T-R-E-O-N dot com slash S-E-I-B-E-R-T and S-E-I-B-E-R-T. Keep up with us on twitter and instagram at hometowncast, and find transcripts and merch on our website at www.hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our Discord community.

Thank you for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode, Tom, on April 25th. And until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Music fades out]

Kiera Transcript — April 11, 2019

Kiera Transcript

You can download a PDF version of the transcript here

0 – Kiera

[Hometown theme music fades in]

Ashlyn: Hometown. Create by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert.

[Music begins to fade]

Kiera: Hello everyone and welcome to the first episode of Hometown! Actually, this is more of a prologue I guess? Maybe episode… zero. Anyways, my name is Kiera, and I’m so glad you’re listening. Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m making this podcast, so I think I’m going to explain that first.

I was born and raised in a city that isn’t super small, but it’s definitely not a big city either. I went to a college not too far away and then moved back home after I graduated. It wasn’t exactly how I pictured, but it’s how things worked out. The town I live in… well I don’t know how to describe it to you, it just… is? [She laughs] Um… pretty much just your average suburban town. It has just average things in it, a few parks, a few elections nobody votes in, everybody just kind of goes about their normal business and stays in their small church groups of Facebook groups or whatever kind of circles people get into these days.

But, here’s my problem. I lived here my whole life except for college, and yet, I don’t really know that many people here! I don’t know who owns the cute old-fashioned restaurant ten minutes away or even if there is one. I don’t know who to go for to pick up the latest town gossip, I doubt there even is such a person. I don’t even know who’s running in the election, or if there’s an election going on right now. And, okay that last part definitely says more about me than this place, but my point is this: I’ve never felt a meaningful connection to this place. No sense of community, no warm and fuzzy feelings after coming home from a long trip, it’s always been simply the place that I live.

And I don’t want that to be true! I want to be proud of my hometown, and I want to feel connected to the people who live here! I want to find a sense of community in this place where I will probably spend my whole life.

And that’s where this podcast comes in.  I plan to interview people who live here, people who are different in many ways. Age, race, wealth, it doesn’t matter. But all of these people will have that one unifying factor that they all live here. I’m going to talk to them, try to understand them, and hopefully try to collect their stories. Stories are what I’m really after. I’ve always felt that by hearing someone’s story, even if it’s a small part of their life, you can connect to them on a much deeper level. And my hope is that by the end of this project I can look back at their stories, and… well, I guess I just want to feel fulfilled by them in some way. Maybe I’ll find where I fit in to all this. A feeling of home, community, that’s really what I’m looking for.

A disclaimer: I am not a professional, and I have no experience in podcasting at all, [Small nervous laugh] but I wanted something that would keep a bit of anonymity for the people that I interview without losing the personal connection of hearing someone’s voice. So, I bought myself a blue snowball mic, and… here I am!  I would like to apologize in advance for any low-quality audio or editing because I am learning as I go, but I’ll get better.

Each week, you will hear me interviewing someone, and hopefully prompting them to share some kind of a personal story as the center of the interview.  The name of the city that I live in will be kept anonymous since I want my guests to be able to speak freely. But like I said: picture any suburb in America, and you’ve pretty much got the main idea.

Well, that’s all for now! Be sure to keep your eye on this feed for the first episode of Hometown, coming soon to wherever you get your podcasts.

[Quiet piano music fades in, rising as low strings join in. A melodic line played by a (?) begins. The music shifts to a calm shimmer]

Ashlyn: Hometown is created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Today’s episode featured the voice of Aubree Seibert as Kiera. Original music was composed by Jonathan Sandy. Find more of his work on Spotify under Jonathan Sandy. Graphic design by Hannah Perkins.

Special thanks this week goes to our family for all of their love and support for this crazy project that we’re doing.

If you like our show and want to hear more, as well as get some Rad Rewards be sure to support us on Patreon, which helps us improve and make more of the show. You can find our Patreon at www.patreon.com/seibertandseibert that’s P-A-T-R-E-O-N dot com slash S-E-I-B-E-R-T and S-E-I-B-E-R-T. Keep up with us on twitter and instagram at hometowncast, and find transcripts and merch on our website at www.hometowncast.wordpress.com. You can also join our Discord community.

Thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you for our next episode, Eliza, on April 18th. Until then, don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Music fades out]

Trailer Transcript — March 20, 2019

Trailer Transcript

You can download a PDF version here

Trailer

[Upbeat music fades in]

Kiera: What do you feel connects you to this town?

Why do you think you always end up coming back?

[Music intensifies]

Kiera: What was it like when you moved here?

Stories are just what I’m doing this for.

Would you say that there is a sense of community here?

What was your childhood like here?

[Music intensifies again]

[In a layered montage of voices, each line overlapping each other slightly]

Jenny: Okay so here’s what happened.

Lauren: Well I just kind of blow-through places I suppose. But I think I always knew I’d come back here eventually.

John: Um, it was nice. I mean, it’s kind of a quiet town. But we liked it a lot. When we moved here we had… just gotten married.

Tom: Yeah. It’s funny how it all worked out though.

Eliza: Oh goodness, let me think. I had a very happy childhood.

[Music simplifies]

Kiera: [With strong emotion] That’s what it means to have a hometown. To be so closely tied to the places and the people you live around, that even if you don’t always see it, those threads of your stories are knit together tightly, making a beautiful tapestry. And that tapestry is a map. And that map leads us back home.

Ashlyn: Introducing Hometown, created by Aubree and Ashlyn Seibert. Original music by Jonathan Sandy, and graphic design by Hannah Perkins. Join Kiera as she interviews residents of her hometown and gives them a place to share their story, and in doing so seeks a sense of belonging.

An anthology audio drama about finding community, what it means to have a home, and the stories that make us who we are. And remember: don’t be afraid to tell your story.

[Music fades out]

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