There has never been a time where there wasn’t a small town for every big city. Never a time that small town kids didn’t wanna grow up and move off to the big city and big city folks didn’t dream about moving back to the small town. It’s because they are different and differences are seductive. We’re always looking to find something else, something more, and we always seem convinced that what we want is miles away and not what we have where we are. If you were born in a small town you will never know what it’s like to be born in the big city, and those born in the big city will never know what it’s like to be born in a small town.
So much time and effort, rhetoric, romance and rancor has been spent extolling, vilifying and condemning the differences between the two halves of our society: The Haves, the Have Nots; the Rural, the Urban; the Redneck, the Elite; the Consumer, The Provider; the Small Town, the Big City. So much effort looking to point out the differences and so little time looking at the ties that bind. From dirt roads and back roads, to highways and city streets, somewhere along the way they meet at the crossroads between rural and urban, myth and reality.
Bright Lights in a One Stoplight Town.
Urban legends and rural myths mean nothing and everything. Stereotyping explains the unexplainable and generalizations justify misgivings and mistrust. Fast paced living mistakes a slower way of life for slower thinking, and country road travelers assume city street commuters don’t know where they are going. When an evil creeps in the blame falls on the other. From Main Street to Broadway, the back 40 to the 40th floor the same problems and the same demons, the same blessings and the same saints haunt us all. The good ol’ boys have been drinking sterno in The County as long as the suits have been wasting cash on blow; the rednecks have been cooking meth in tin dots in the desert as long as street thugs have been up-selling imported poppy like entrepreneurs; and backwoods, mudding hicks have been spiraling into junkies as long as big city execs have been making the same nosedive. One didn’t make the other and blame ain’t a one way street.
Gonna die in this small town.
In the end, a lot of times the only difference between Rural America and Big City America is the fact that out here where the streetlights are few, the sky dark except for the stars and neighbours live miles away, when our addicts die on street corners the street corners just aren’t that busy.