Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A (Formerly) Small Town

“I seem to recognize your face
Haunting, familiar, yet I can’t seem to place it

I have been in my hometown for almost three weeks now, minus a jaunt back to the Austin area for a bit.  And while I cannot wait to get back to the Hill Country for good, I also can’t help but drive around my old burg and let my mind wander.  So prepare to be treated to some mind vitamins that seem to pop into my head during these little B-ville jaunts…

  • I’ve bought beer there before.
  • Hey, one of my old residences is for rent!  Suckers…
  • I used to stop there to pee all the time.
  • And, I bought beer there, too.
  • I remember when that was Gandy’s (yes – not Grandy’s) Fried Chicken.  Best rolls ever!
  • I still cannot make two consecutive green lights on Wilshire Blvd.
  • I miss Big Daddy’s sub shop.  The pastrami was awesome.
  • Why, yes – I think we do have a Buffalo Wild Wings here now.
  • I remember when that was – holy shit, it still is Gina’s Pizza!
  • Where did that elementary school come from?  And it’s named after someone I know?
  • Speaking of all these elementary schools, do they still hold Play Day?  And if so, where would they fit all those schools?
  • And does Mound still dominate Play Day?  (Highly doubtful.)
  • Hey, I’ve bought beer there before.
  • Oh, and I’ve peed there, too.
  • I once hit a baseball from that backstop to the roof of that building.
  • Didn’t buy beer there, though.  It’s a school.
  • I was accused of setting dumpster fires at that bathroom.  If you knew the whole story, which is really funny for several reasons, then that would make sense.  Have you ever had a cop ask to smell your fingers when you exit a gas station bathroom?
  • I wish we would have had those baseball fields when I was a kid.

And don’t even get me started regarding driving around Fort Worth and Arlington.  Those beer stops are too many to count.

But to me, the oddest thing is that I have yet to run into someone I know from my life here.  I dread every trip to the gas station, every trip to a local restaurant, just waiting for that awkward conversation.  Has yet to happen.

Tomorrow may be the day, however, as I meet a couple of old friends from the McDonald’s days at a local eatery for drinks and dinner.  (Yes, in that order.  At least, for me.)  Then again, this town is much bigger than it used to be.  I think I’m basing my good fortune, if it can be called that, on Facebook “check ins”.  I see them constantly on my timeline.  So-and-so was here, so-and-so was there.

I guess the trick is that I wasn’t.  As usual.  And that’s ok.

“I changed by not changing at all, small town predicts my fate
Perhaps that’s what no one wants to see”

Yeah, a move back to Austin cannot happen soon enough.


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