I visited the grave of a friend today. Previously I had written about him here. It still seems odd that though I am now in my thirties that I am young enough that have friends that died. When his death first happened I thought that part of my world had ended. Now looking back I can say part of it truly did.
We can wax on philosophically that it’s all in my head, that it’s a state of mind that eventually I’ll get past. But it’s been eight years now and part of it still touches my soul. The ability to hang on to youth and childish things stems from him. He also gives me my inner spirit to drive forward no matter the cost. Part of me wishes I could be half the man he could have become, the other half of realizes I am if not more. The uncertainty of it all is what I think drives me the most crazy. I wish I could have known if he would have survived the crash that he would have accomplished something. That sad part is very few people in my home town rarely do.
They go about their lives in daze. Working minimum wage jobs, going to the bar, doing what their parents were doing twenty to thirty years earlier. It is almost exactly what their parents were doing down to the same bars and jobs. Part of me pities them. Don’t get me wrong I don’t feel bad for them. I think they should want to do better. Yet they are happy maintaining their status quo. Speaking of that very few of them would use the term status quo in normal speech let alone in anything they wrote if they took the effort. This is the part of me most of them consider stuck up, since I don’t go down to their level. They feel that I think that I am better than them, I’m not.
Part of me feels a jealousy towards them. Since they don’t look at the bigger picture or life outside of the small town they grew up in, they are very happy. External pressures and news don’t have the same tug of emotions inside them. They are complacent and want to go about their daily business. I think part of me wants a bit of that complacency. It’s the town. Not the people we were born and raised a certain way and because of that most the citizens in the town feel we need to persevere so things that existed and ways of life that were performed generations before we came around are maintained as closely as can be achieved.
Since small town America hangs on to this ideal they are shocked when the manufacturing jobs disappear. My hometown took a bit hit financially when the Ford plant that employed most the town closed down and the production moved away. The parents of my generation used to say that the day they graduated high school they would walk down to the Ford plant and be hired immediately. Friends of mine who wanted to get into Ford waited for years to move up the queue on the waiting list to be interviewed. Some made it, some didn’t – but now those jobs are gone. These are jobs that some of them looked forward to in high school.
Like every small town where this happens the people blame the company because they don’t want to relearn or train. One of the arguments I’ve had on this is that America is transitioning into a service industry. If it’s in the service profession you can be pretty sure your job won’t go aware. It doesn’t however making economic sense to continue manufacturing in America when citizens are complaining about the cost of goods at the store. Overseas manufacturing makes that cheaper.
I’m siting in my car down at the beach writing this. Some guy chuckled at himself slightly pointing that I have a belt holding up one side of my bumper. In this economy I shouldn’t be forced to fix it just because someone else finds it odd. I don’t think of it as something to be ashamed of, just something that is more pragmatic for me to deal with the way it is instead of spending money to fix it. Judging by looks it looked like he was in a lower income bracket than me and should have realized that. But people in my town would rather waste money buying a new car then deal with a belt on the bumper. For a side note not picking on the guy since I don’t dress or act like I belong in the income bracket in which I live.
Lots of people have walked by me looking at me odd since I’m typing away on a laptop. Like it’s the oddest thing in the world to have someone using a computer that is not at home. I used to get the same looks coming down to the beach and play trumpet or even to read. It always seemed that the citizens thought that these things somehow were meant to be actively enjoyed instead of passively relaxed inside
I was going to write more – but external forces pulled me away from my writing – instead of being now off the groove I’ve decided to put what I’ve written up as is.