It's been over a year and a half since I last visited Paradise, the colorful Animal Crossing
town I once called home. I named it Paradise with dreams dancing on my glazed eyes, envisioning the whistle-stop suburb as something I'd one day build and transform into a picturesque city; grass green, girls pretty.
Despite my best intentions, Paradise never really was. Relationships, work, and other games took hold of my time, and a creeping anxiety thickened in me as remembered responsibilities built up with each day spent away. Those days turned to weeks, and eventually, that fog of worry precipitated, leaving a few minutes of light rain in its wake, taking with it my guilt and regrets.
I was at a crossroads in my life recently, and my therapist suggested that I return to Paradise before I made any big decisions. I spent my first afternoon back pulling weeds and chasing bugs out of the house, before flipping through this week's Paradise Press
, our local paper, to catch up on town happenings. I was astonished to find that Paradise had been racked by scandal, tragedy, and financial woes.
As the Notorious B.I.G. once rapped in his chronicle of Brooklyn's decline, "Things done changed."