Sunday, August 31, 2008

Downtown Where All The Lights Are Out

I had to buy gas this afternoon in anticipation of an early morning trip to Big Flat City tomorow to purchase a new shower/tub. (Don't even ask!) Earl the Truck's heavy drinking is beginning to take a financial toll, so I took my camera along to give me something to look forward to after the gouging. I wandered around my side of town for a while, taking a few shots that have been niggling at the back of my mind for months as I drive past these places.

These shots are from an abandoned church in the barrio.

I, uh, found one of the two scooters that live here in Fake Cow.

Love this guy's ingenuity. That junked car has been there for at least a year. He just painted the sign a couple of weeks ago.

Fake Cow is a dead and dirty town in a lot of ways. But underneath the disinterest and neglect there is some interesting stuff. When we come home from a trip, we always wonder why we continue to live here. But, truthfully, cities bore me after a while. Trees and mountains are nice, but they give me claustrophobia after about a week.

I like being able to see the weather approaching for at least half a day before it gets here. I like knowing the cars belonging to the people who have business out on the little road where I live and being able to pick out a strange car as soon as it turns off the highway. I like being able to hear the train, but only at 3:00 a.m. because it is a mile away and the sound carries so well at night. I like finding exciting new ways of threading my FM antenna around the bathroom so that I can pick up a scratchy version of Morning Edition while I'm getting dressed.

I like laughing at the unimaginative marquee at Taco Bell which says simply "Jesus". They are attempting to keep up with the Joneses next door at the chicken joint who excel at insipid religious marquee writing. (They had the prayer of Jabez posted on that sign for almost a year. I couldn't figure it out for months. Every time I drove past all I could think was "WTF???" Mindy finally explained it to me.) I like being deeply concerned with whether or not the band will stretch its years of consecutive sweepstakes to 75-ish, even though I don't have a kid in band.

I like the gold of the corn stalks in the late afternoon sun, even though they cause me much grief and snot. I like knowing that no one is having any luck with tomatoes this year and that it's not just me. I like how we tell distance in hours, not miles. (It's an hour to Cool City and 45 minutes to Big Flat City. My parents have moved only a half-hour away. Takes five hours to drive to Dallas. We don't even bother driving to Houston, because when the distance is greater than 8 hours, you just damn well oughta fly.)

I like the way we all cheered at the news that somebody had filed for divorce and her worthless husband was looking for work in Dallas. "Good riddance," we all said. "They'll kick his butt in Dallas." I like that every story is preceded by the complete pedigree of all the major characters. And some of these pedigrees are real doozies!

I think I'll stick around for a while yet.


imngrace said...

I must post some pictures from our small-town-ville. It looks as though we could be twins!

I'm learning to like it here, but it will take some getting used to.

Patti said...

I would too, probably. I mean, I'm staying here.

mommyfranklin said...

We like it here so much we've left and come back twice. As much as I resisted coming back this time (and I resisted A LOT!), I really can't complain .... much.

Janie said...

I like my town, too. I was close(r) to your town yesterday. We gotta get together sometime soon!

Good post, Spooky.

ElastiGirl said...

and i'll bet that the natives can tell you exactly who built the buildings and who all has owned them since then... that's how it is in my hometown.

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I love the color of the rust in those photos. That is so cool!

Cynthia said...

I love the pictures and, after the episode with the poetry reading, who says you folks don't have culture? I think I see the image of Sylvia Plath in one of the rusty tin patches.

Seriously. I had rather look at these pics than the sculpted and manicured lawns of suburbia.

JenStar said...

Totally agree with you about the country way of life...much more "pleasant" than the city. I also think there are more photo opps there too!

Bunny Bunster said...

I never thought of living in the country as the way you do. Thanks Rach!! I agree!

annie said...

I love the photos! I guess the car shop guy got bored one day and decided to do something different!

Presbyterian Gal said...

I've never lived anywhere but a big city. I must say that your depiction is quite quite tempting. Especially with those wonderful photos.

But I suspect after a month, maybe two, I would go into withdrawal from being 20 minutes in any direction from the Whole Foods, Starbucks, Trader Joes, Vromans book store, Target, UA multiplex theaters, Panda Express, Post Office, the Vet and 3 of my 4 doctors. And that's even considered a long drive!

P M Prescott said...

"Takes five hours to drive to Dallas. We don't even bother driving to Houston, because when the distance is greater than 8 hours, you just damn well oughta fly.)"

Ain't that the truth! I can relate to lots of what you said. I still prefer the mountains, valleys and milder weather.