Writing is a lifestyle that even when I am sick, I think about. My head hurt some of those days, so not much writing done. This morning, I again rolled around in my mind small town. Writers always think.
Back in the day, mothers put the children outside as soon as they were potty trained. Mothers cleaned, cooked, and chored inside while kids made up games and played in the fresh air without parents. Mom, proud of her fenced in back yard downtown before we moved, scooted me outside to play. I cried, lonely, the older kids at school. I might have been two and a half.
Mom cleaned up the playpen, placed it out front on Main Street. She plucked me down there. From the confine of safety, I waved hello to everyone who passed. Cliff, the owner of the laundry mat across the street, got, "Hi, Cliff."
Laddie, the yellow cocker spaniel, trotted along the street with George Cunningham, the funeral home director. I called out to Laddie by name. I could say the long names of people, too, "Hello, Mrs. Sagenich." I'm sure there were others, but this is all my limited memory allows today.
As I still indulge in Gilmore Girls, I can't help but see how this is so appealing. Everyone in Stars Hollow almost feels they own Rory, helped raised her, rejoice in her triumphs and cry with her failures. We love small towns, until a certain age, then we want to run. I didn't want a comment every time I left my front porch from the front porch across the street. We laughed at the lady down the street who knew when we were back from vacation, so she could write an article for the local paper. I guess we do that now with Facebook, ourselves.
Even in my city, the girls had their characters, the naked jogging guy. He wasn't really naked, but ran in short shorts and no shirt, even in winter. Now he is much older and wears longer shorts to his knees. There is the Forest Gump, in his non-shaving scene, still walking State Street. We had Kung Fu Guy with headband and black belt ambling up and down the main highway. They named them, but we didn't know them.
A sense of community is deep inside us. Yet we are fearful. A mother who would put a toddler outside today like Mom did with me would be put in jail. We are private, like I struggled with the announcement every time I left my porch often times choosing the side porch to avoid those eyes. We want help, but we don't want interference. We want comfort, but not smothering. But those from small towns long for the days of their childhood. Because we need community.