It was a bright and sunny day
when I climbed aboard the plan
Uncle Bob had to leave his pocket knife behind
security kept it safe for him
his grandpa gave it to him when he was just a boy
he wanted to walk to the gate with everyone else
to see me off this August day

I found my seat and sat quietly
the first step in my new journey
buckled my seat belt and stared out the window
my family was waving goodbye, but they couldn’t see me
I saw them standing at the window by the gate
I was ready to leave it all behind

Halfway across the country
new places, new faces, new life
and I desperately wanted to leave the nightmares behind

The plane pushed away from the gate
Uncle Bob got his knife back
family went about their day
I thought about the hug my grandma gave me
It said, “please stay, but I understand you need to go.”
I couldn’t stay in a place that was slowly killing me

I like the feeling in the air
nothing below me
nothing holding me back
nothing to save me except myself

I didn’t have a plan past the next four years
halfway across the country
I’ll leave the nightmares behind
and begin my journey toward something new

Final destination, Lincoln
tires skid on the tarmac
the plane taxis to the gate
it’s journey has just ended
mine has just begun

Backpack and duffel bag hold everything that is me
A New Yorker out of place
lots to learn and lots to see
Neihardt Hall, Love 1316
I drop my bags on my desk, open a Coke, take a swig
breathe deeply, it’s silent for now

Three Cokes later, I check out the bathroom
I don’t like the idea of sharing, I’ve had to share too much already
but this new life requires sacrifices
halfway across the country, I breathe deeply and try to clear my mind

Names on the doors, up and down the hall
all Nebraska towns, but three
Me, Chicago, and Italy
I tense up, feel some fear, exhale slowly
it’s going to be all right here

I meet the R.A., she makes insincere small talk
I want her to leave, but remember my manners
she doesn’t really care, how I am, how the weather is,
or if I’m settling in okay
Don’t call yourself a fan if Stairway to Heave is the only song you know

End of the day, there’s no one around
I drank the six-pack of warm Coke
not the best thing in the heat, my stomach’s churning a little bit
full of Coke and Burger King chicken sandwiches and fries

I’m all alone again, it’s a familiar scene
play out again, halfway across the country
the silence is nice, I hope for a little peace

Lie down, rest my head
stare at my Stairway poster, old man staring down on me
close my eyes, try to sleep, for a little while
I’m all alone in this room, except for the nightmares
It seems I brought them with me
halfway across the country
they’re here to stay, will hinder my journey
exhale slowly, I’m not sure if I’ll be all right
but I’ll have to find a way to be