There's been a lot of talk
recently about towns. Small towns, big towns, my town, your town. Towns.
Towns and merchants and buildings and communities. Living together under
one sky and sharing air. Nasty thought considering the viruses and germs
that inhabit our breathy comestibles.
Towns are cool. They really can be. Other times they can be boring, nosy
and mediocre at best. Ever notice as you're driving through some small
towns, they peer out from between their curtains and just watch you.
Stare at you while you're going into the local gas station to buy gum.
Their look says it all. It says "we don't take to your kind around
here". It makes your skin crawl. At least it does mine.
Narrow-mindedness always has. I think tunnel vision and
narrow-mindedness must be related in the viral lexicon. You'd think that
narrow mindedness would breed tunnel vision strictly because of its
girth. Narrow/tunnel. But perhaps it's actually the other way around.
Maybe seeing something in such a limited fashion begets narrowness of
the mind. Or maybe those town residents just need a good laxative. Who
One very good rule of thumb is, if you do an "artsyfartsy"
type of job, such as writing or web design or hell I don't know, article
"development"....do not...I repeat do not let that information
out while making your gas station purchase.
Yes, stand there ....light your cigarette with panache (for this piece,
there are NO non-smoking bi laws) flick your hair back, shift your
laptop to your other hand grandly and state clearly...
"I'm a writer, renting that lovely little three room cottage by the
lake to finish my work. "
Blank empty stares. Do they know what a writer is? Probably so. Do they
know what a writer does? Probably so. Do they have a Hollywood concept
of us? Most assuredly.
So to them we look like people who are between "real" jobs.
But that's cool. They have no clue they are providing major fodder for
your next humor column. A look at small town life through the eyes of a
writer. I think Steven King may have been describing a few towns I've
run into lately.