Split Down the Middle

If you were to– let’s say, hypothetically– break your mother’s best vase while playing soccer in the living room, then decide that you actually wanted to play basketball and accidentally break it some more, then stomp on it in a dance routine, then take the tiniest piece and hold it up next to a map, you just might get a representation of how small this town is. So small, the only store here is a gas station, because no outsiders stop here, anyway– it’s just a quick second to refill before you continue on your way to the nearby city. 

Really, if I wanted to climb to the top of one of our many hilly streets and look to the other side of the town, glancing over all the freshly-manicured grass and the blue backyard pools, I could just leave the binoculars in my backpack. Besides, the deer are more likely to come up and greet me if I don’t have some weird black contraption in my hand. If you bring some apples with you when you visit, they might say hi to you, too. 

We’re not quite in Suburbia, there are no sidewalks or hard-drawn lines between one property and the next, but we’re close. No, the roads aren’t perfectly paved, and the park monkey bars are a bit rusty, but the houses have spotless paint jobs, washed windows, and most importantly, immaculate front yards. We’re perfectly normal– though I might wish for dragons or a quality crime scene, the only quests here are journeys to Home Depot. 

Aesthetically, this town is a perfectly normal American one. Politically, however, we’re split down the middle. When one side of the aisle puts up a “Black Lives Matter” sign, the other side takes it down. When a “Trump 2020” sign goes up, that too is removed. The mayor has been called horrible names and honorable ones, which goes to show how much even the smallest town is able to emulate one of the biggest countries. As I read national headlines of “Country Split on Healthcare and Affordable Housing”, familiar bells ring ring ring in my mind. Following the example of our flag, I wonder– for a town fighting itself behind the scenes, will we eventually be as put-together as our front lawns?

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