Monday, September 12, 2011

My Small Town

Small towns are incestuous places by definition.  Everybody knows everybody.

You are never alone in a small town and you can never get lost.

There is some familiar comfort in constantly waving at cars going by or seeing folks you saw yesterday or an hour ago.

But with familiarity comes contempt as your moms would say.

Folks know your business and though most could care less there are also those who care too damn much.

And so people talk about people all the time.  They track each other.  Add details when they meet.  Sometimes daily.  Sometimes weekly.  And shockingly, sometimes hourly.

But what could happen in a small town to move folks to be so interested in other folks?  Well nothing really.

People live and die.  Love and hate.  And they do so on the daily.

Still, there is always some stink that needs your undivided attention.

In the weeks since my return to Kimberley I have been briefed on who is f*cking who and who got f*cked over by who.  Oh and how many times too.

I have wondered if gossip was disallowed what would townies do?   I mean there is, after all, sh*t to do in a small town.

Despite all the cringe-worthy qualities and vacuous nothingness there are some interesting things about life in a small town.

I'm drawing up a list but need your help:
1. Women in Nikab wave at you as they drive by because they think you recognize them;
2. You don't have to greet some people because your families don't get along;
3. People think you are smart because you lived in a big town;
4. People think you are rich because you worked in a big town;
5. Most of the fine women who rebuffed your advances are now obese;
6. Most of the high school jocks who kicked your ass are obese and married to the now-obese women who rebuffed you;
7. The teller at the bank helps you first because she remembers your grandmother;
8. Everyone knows who slept with who so it helps with STD prevention;

"... Got nothing against a big town
Still hayseed enough to say
Look who's in the big town
But my bed is in a small town
Oh, and that's good enough for me ..."

Ps.  In the late 80s I used to live not too far from Seymour, Indiana, where John Mellencamp grew up.

Now when I drive though Kimberley I sometimes remember Terre Haute and Bloomington and I miss the Pink Houses in those small towns.


Kweli said...

10. Some of the fine women who rebuffed your advances now want you because you've lived in the big town.

11. You know far too many people your age who died way before their time and through no fault of their own.

12. There are people you don't talk to because your families have beef; and the feud goes so way back no one remembers how or why it started.

13. (kinda like no.3) People defer to you and seek your counsel because you've lived in the big town.

Ridwan said...

Kweli that is hilarious.

I can see folks sitting around and saying "why were we not talking again?"

I laugh even as Nadal loses in New York (as I write this).

Number 13 is so true. Ask Kweli he knows PDX so he must know why it is not raining here :0)

Peace to you brother. Thanks for playing along.

Onward! small towns forever.


Erica said...

Perfect song for a perfect post. You know that John Cougar Mellencamp is one of my FAVORITES!!

It's the same everywhere. I think living in a small town is like living among blood sucking leeches whose only mission is to suck the the life right out of you.

I can't tell you the many times I'd go home and bump into the very same people who didn't give you the time of day to now wanting to either get your number or ask for a date.

Triflin Mofo:"Erica?"


Triflin Mofo:"Remember me?"

Me:"Ummm yeahhh....." (not really but seeing where this shit will go)

Triflin Mofo:"Wow, you haven't changed a bit!"

Me:" have!" "How's that workin out for ya?

Triflin Mofo: "Well you know, I'm between jobs right now. Tryin to get my music thang goin."

Me thinking to myself: "NEGRO! You damn near 40, AND jobless, AND "starting" a "rap" career?"


Lord save me Ridi...........


Anonymous said...

14. A decade on, you can still remember all the people who might have moved from another small town to yours.....

15. Another word for a small town is...
Pot plant.
(Not the kind you grow)

16.The trick to instant glamour is telling people 'its from overseas' (how much more exotic than china town can you get?)

Ridwan said...

Hey Erica:

I am so cracking up reading your comment. I can just see you with that incredulous look as Tyrone/Jerome rolls up on you.

But hey, Teddy Pendergrass came from your hometown so maybe "Triflin Mofo" got a chance.

Just jiving baby. I don't want you mad at me and I absolutely hear you.

How the hell you still trying to get a record label when you singing karaoke in your momma's car?

Talking about:"Hood a brother up. Oh and let me hold a dollar."

I know those brothers too well and yeah we gots em here too.

Muthaz who know shit but remember when they could run faster than you.

I broke it down to a f*ck the other day when he got to talking about back in the day.

I asked him which day he was referring to and was it the whole day or just around noon.

He said: "Huh?"

And his wife is supporting his ass because he is in-between jobs (investment opportunities).

How a mofo gonna invest in sh*t? He has no gas money and his wife is struggling to keep food on their table.

Yeah small towns.

And oh there are those who are also so smug in a small town. They made it cause they bought a second hand Mercedes!

Yeah you need to roll from that farm baby.

I'll be there around 4pm to help you pack :0)

Thanks for a great comment.

Peace and luv,

Ridwan said...

P you are so whack but so on the small town thang.

14, 15, and 16 made me laugh so hard I have Coke Zero in my nose!

Just the other day I said: Why are there so many foreign people in Kimberley and I was not talking about foreigners I was talking about folks from elsewhere in the rainbow delusion.

Moms said who. I pointed and she said: "Yeah they moved here in 1997 and think they own the place now."

I hate out of townies in our town.

They honk (hoot) at street lights (robots) the minute it changes.

That is so not Kimberley. We would rather just keep squinting.

Oh I did not tell you that it took me most of my life to figure that Kimberley folks are not grimacing but squinting (because the light is so bright here).

When I visited from 'overseas' I started squinting too - bingo!

Kimberlites are friendly they just squinting at your ass :0)

Oh another story. I went to a nursery in Portland once and asked the owner what I should do to get my pot plants to grow better since the light quotient in the Pacific Northwest is almost nil.

He looked at me quizzically.

He talked about florescent lighting and then commended me on my honesty.

I said "huh" ... and soon found out I should have said: potted plants.

Pot plants being a whole other thang.

Be well with your anonymous self and thanks for a very funny comment.

Maybe a new list: How do you know folks are not from your small town?

What you think?