Sunday, December 31, 2006

Small town

A mishap in a small community affects all members. The shock and fear felt by the victim, becomes the fear of a group. Gossip and theories sprout on porches and at night the doors are locked for a few days and the dogs called in. Suspicion circles and nobody talks to the sheriff.
Grief too affects all members. In town four people died since September. In a big and bustling city only family and friends, coworkers and neighbors would notice. These people would end up being statistics to the not involved. Not so here. I know all four, am aware of snippets of their lives, their dependencies, their sexual preference, their warmth or cold, the color of their hair and the color they changed to. They are not personal friends, but part of the woof and weft of what holds this group of people afloat, yet I too realize that the town has become poorer, lost character, lost togetherness, lost fun in the bar. Of course there are new people in town, who came for the special atmosphere, the specific sense of place. However, with each ‘old timer’ who disappears, the specific cohesion or discord that they created vanishes. So a part of the town dies with them. Strangely here where nothing ever changes, but where one cycle resolves the next, change is most noticeable. Looking around, I wonder who are the new characters, the new eccentrics, the new rich, the down and out. Is it the lady, who casts some of her spells at the graveyard and who noticed that six angels had been beheaded… Is it the Saturday noon actor whose pride and joy is his 1964 Harley… Is it a friend following a dream? The town will be maybe less quaint, cleaner, with just a few pockets of past but change may bring healing, a new sense of community and a new burst of creativity ad joy.

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