|Memories before they're gone
Author: mmmmmmmm PM
The town is already a blistered dream on the backs of my eyelids, fragments that flicker past, jerky and disjointed like an old projector film.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 379 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 3 - Published: 09-02-09 - Status: Complete - id: 2716600
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The town is already a blistered dream on the backs of my eyelids, fragments that flicker past, jerky and disjointed like an old projector film. In my head, it looks like Italy, like early color photographs, stained with heat and light and the color yellow. This is the would-be idyll, ringed by mountains. This is the old post office with its tower; this is what the town looks like on brochures and phone books.
It doesn't tell about the tunnel where kids get stoned, up to their ankles in sludge and rainwater. It doesn't mention the store on the far edge of town where people laugh in a language that rolls and dips in a sharp rope of sound. It won't explain how a walk down the bike path gives you a tiny glimpse of people's backyards and the lives they have when no one else is around. It couldn't describe, if it tried, all the people that feel trapped by those mountains; the way it feels to never be able to get away from them. The way they circle round your throat, a protection just shy of choking you.
The brochures and the articles don't tell any of these things because they think they are things to be ashamed of. They don't understand that this town is not its majestic mountains and the post office so tall and ugly that people mistake it for being regal. They don't know that a person can't be compressed into a block of text and a few glossy photographs, that trying to summarize a whole town is even more hopeless. They don't know that their town is just waiting, stagnant and trapped, to start screaming.
The town, closed in every direction by mountains, has no horizon. I've lived here for long enough that seeing the ocean, going flat forever and suddenly ending in a straight line, makes me nervous. It's too much emptiness for me to swallow and I look away.
I'm leaving this town, and the way back is more complicated than the way here (a plane flight and a few right turns.) It might be more than I can manage on my own.
from October 2008