My Town - Circa 1988

Before I give the "surprise ending" to this post away, I’ll fill you in with some “preliminary” information about this post. Then, at the end, I’ll explain myself a little more - it will all make sence in the end.. Be patient.

This is an assignment from a course I took during my freshman year of college. The only guidelines to this assignment was to to write a one page theme titled "My Town". It was to be written in a way that would make the reader feel like they knew “My Town” without having ever been there. “My Town” could be anywhere, at any time.

I got a "A" - Here is that paper..

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My Town

I live in a town that has lush green areas with rolling hills and many people abound. With every passing day the population increases and never decreases.

In my town everyone is accepted. There is no hatred or prejudice - unless it is brought in by the small trickle of people that come to visit. Visitors are usually very somber, sometimes sad or even crying at times. I don't know why, and I don't ask.

The residents of my town are all very quiet. There are never any loud parties, or noisy neighbors - in fact, where I live, nobody comes out much, they all pretty much keep to themselves most of the time. Most of the residents are elderly, with a few certain exceptions. We have a couple of little children, and a troubled teenager (or two) who thought that they could solve all their problems by moving here.

My town is a very lonely place to be at times. It seems that hours turn into days, days into months, months into years, and even years into decades. There is very little variety here; everybody just seems to lie around. There is not much that breaks the monotony - except for the few visitors that come, and the sound of the weekly mowing that can be heard overhead.

Winters are unusually lonely around here. When I first moved in, I got visitors at regular intervals. As the years have passed since I moved here, my visitors have become less and less frequent. Usually around Christmas I get a few visitors, and sometimes they bring me a wreath too! As Easter rolls around I usually get a visit and some pretty flowers. Then around the week of August 17 (which is an important date in my life), I get a few visitors and more flowers. (It seems like all anyone ever brings are wreaths or flowers…)

The neighbor to my left is a former Officer in the U.S. Army. He nobly served our country in World War 2, and has many medals for honor and bravery to show for it. Alas, nobody ever comes to visit with him anymore. He has faded off into the memories of those that loved him.

The neighbors to my right are an elderly couple who had no children, and no real close friends. (If they did have any they would be most likely too old to visit or deceased.) No one ever comes to visit them. Nonetheless, I think they are happy to be together.

In front of me is a young mother of four children (one boy, and three little girls - all under the age of five). This poor woman had her children "snatched" from her not that long ago, and everyone seems devastated about it. Her children often come to visit, along with their father, but I suspect that this will change soon because the father has started bringing another woman along to these visits.

Behind me is an empty lot, just waiting for someone to move in. Rumor has it that I will have a new neighbor soon. I heard that a retired police officer has terminal cancer and is in need of a long term place to stay.

Well, enough of this rambling on about my town. I have probably board you to death. I would like it if you could come by and visit me again sometime. My place is not that hard to find either. The address is Row 23, Plot 12 of Resurrection Hill Cemetary. You can’t miss my place. I have a sign above where I stay - it reads...

James Bromann
April 4, 1917 - August 17, 1982
A Loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather

- - - - -

Would you call that a surprise ending? That's what I was trying for.

My professor was completely thrown by the ending. He said that he was not expecting anything of the sort, and was impressed by the creative license I (unexpectedly) took in the way I wrote this theme (in the first person) from the perspective of a (deceased) “resident” of the “town” (cemetery), he acutaly read this theme out loud to the class.

Apparently most of the students talked about their “home towns”, and a few wrote about their “favorite towns” or "favorite places"… But he said I took the assignemnt to a new level. Which is why he read it to the class. Man, was that embarrassing…

Why am I posting about this? Well, remember back to the “Seven Layers of Me” post? In layer number six titled “I LOVE visiting old cemeteries.” I wrote…
I'll post a surprise followup post regarding #6... It should prove to be quite enjoyable for my "regulars".
I hope my regulars enjoyed this small peek into my nerdy, odd, slightly maccabe yet moderately creative mindset!

2 comments:

  1. Great story! I only wish I was as creative. I never wrote and barely read in school. I'm catching up now but you sure set the bar high.
    Give us another.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I knew exactly what this was before I even started reading it. Thanks for sharing it once again with me! It never gets old, you are a very talented writer!

    ReplyDelete

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