Sunday, June 14, 2009

Small Towns

You've got to love, or hate, small towns.
Everyone knows, or likes to think they know, what everyone else is doing. My daughter joked that if she forgets what she is doing she can always ask someone else and they can tell her.
When people tell you something and ask you not to tell anyone it is always a bit of a joke I'm afraid, 'cause it seems even the walls are listening and repeating what they hear. I've become quite paranoid living here I suppose because I came here from the big city, Ha! and wanting to keep some things to myself. There is this perverse satisfaction of actually knowing something no one else knows which I suppose is incredibly stupid really. There is only one way to do that and that is to tell no one what you are doing, yeah, drive 'em crazy!!! It really does!
I had tried and tried a few years ago to succeed at publishing something and everyone found that like totally out of this world. There is this respect by these people who are not maybe so good at reading and so isolated from the rest of the world for the printed word. The idea that I, who is and always has been so much a nobody might have my words in print was laughable. So when I started receiving checks and cashing them at the local bank there was this curiousity that got bigger and bigger along with the checks. I was so ridiculously amused by this that I would actually be chuckling as I drove away. Okay, so perhaps it is stupid of me but really quite satisfying. The bank clerk was torn by the two laws in this town:
Mind your own business
Know everyone's business
You can imagine the quandry the poor bank teller was in when presented with these checks with only the name of a big conglomerate on the check and my own name. What was I getting paid for? Had I perhaps inherited some money or was I moonlighting? If they hadn't known me so well they would have thought them counterfeit.
I am nobody. Once I loved to romp through the embroidery thread at the store, amazed by the beautiful colors and the endless possibilities. The silky thread was stacked in tiny drawers in the fabric department. I was suprised one day to see a store clerk watching me and suddenly realized that they were afraid I was stealing some of it. I stopped buying thread and didn't cross stitch anymore after that which is perhaps stupid but I didn't like to think that they had thought I was shoplifting. Stupid, I know. There are shoplifters and thread is easy to stick in your pocket but it still hurt my feelings, I can't help but feel that way.
It is the same way with my writing, once I told everyone that I wrote stuff and now I don't tell anyone. They laughed at me when I told them I might be published, they asked who would want to write a sleazy romance novel. When I finally did publish something I told no one except for my daughters and my husband, who can blame me? This is yet another thing I keep to myself living in a small town.
I really am no one at all.

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