30, Failed Dreams & Family

Monday afternoon, May 15th

I’d arrived at the middle, of the middle, of America. Towns that I thought only existed in hokey movies came to life; in one hamlet white picket fences fronted deep green lawns; sentinels of huge oaks protected every lane; a white gazebo with lattice sides sat on a grassy plot in the town square; Roman columns presided over white marble stairs that led to a courthouse; next to it City Hall, a simple square building built of stone, reflected a solid people; it’s neighbor, the church, offered a white spire that rose above all else. I half expected a silver-haired woman to pull over holding a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies, her white apron and floral dress neatly covering a matronly frame.

“Jesus Christ, I hate this,” a young woman snapped once I stepped into her black VW Bug. She brushed black stringy hair from her eyes, took a look at me, and said, “I’m Lulu.”

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