Jul 18
zazu's picture

Little towns in the middle of nowhere

I sit out on my porch swing in the dusky evening light and the dimmed yellow glow from a street lamp, watching the occasional car or motorcycle that passes by, stopping first at the crooked, faded red stop sign on the corner of Elm Street. I see a car with kids who look like they're probably college age drive by, blasting loud music and laughing at some unheard inside joke. They seem happy. So, I smile. A car with a canoe on top and a tired looking family drives by next. I can see the parents in the front. The dad in the passenger seat glances at his phone and sighs, while the wife in the driver's seat keeps her eyes on the road. In the back, I can make out the glow from an iPad screen and two kids wearing headphones, but no one seems to be talking. Like everyone else, they drive on past. In the silence that follows, I listen to the chirp of the crickets in the tall grass behind my house, and feel a rush of air from the cool, night breeze. Still, it's muggy out. The houses all seem to sit empty on my street, even though there are people living inside. The only place that's open around here is the gas station, that glows bright and fluorescent, which is never a word you would use to describe this town. This town, that people are always passing through, coming and going on either side of the crooked red stop sign. But in the end, no one really stays.