an ode to my hometown

there’s a distinct way, that this place manages to stay the same for years only to quietly reshape itself all while you’re lulled into a false sense of security, one monday morning on the way to school. and suddenly: there’s a new grocery store, or another lot that’ll sit empty.

until another liquor store moves in. maybe a yoga studio, or a gift shop, i don’t know. but as we stop at the light, i stare out the window, the insidious heat burning my cheeks, and melting my brain to putty. it’s another scorching summer day, mr. blue sky painting a mirage down the swooping highway.

and just like always, i watch tourists descend like vultures, picking clean the remains of clearance racks and grocery store displays, only to disappear along with burnt-yellow lawns and congested traffic each fall, leaving their souvenirs and marshmallows behind, or whatever it is tourists come here to buy.

but… there are also endless roads, forests stretching out for eternity. little creeks under highways, or half-empty bus rides, houses i’ve driven past my whole life, making up stories in my head for the people who must have lived inside. with their broken costco trampolines and hammock chairs.

and someday, i’ll leave this place. look back with nostalgia, and hatred, and god knows what else. wonder how i lived like this, and make myself anew. break promises, and hopefully keep some too. and oh, you beautiful disaster: i cannot wait to miss you.

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