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;9.
"... 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.