Flyover Country

by G.T.

After my Aunt, Uncle, cousin, my cousin’s wife, my sister, and I had finished our dinner, home movies featuring my deceased Grandfather and other long dead relatives were played to loll us to sleep as we digested casserole and cornish hens. I’ve seen it before. They too have seen it before, and they still cry at the same parts. I got up and took a walk.

The sidewalks were smooth and un-cracked for everyone drove because nothing whatsoever was in strolling distance.

I smoked my last cigarette and flicked the butt into the street. It was the greatest crime that town had ever witnessed in history. But nobody was around to see it, and I fled the scene of the smoldering butt as I walked alongside a retention pond. Quack! A mallard duck said to me, startled as I disturbed him while he crapped onto grass beside the sidewalk. “I promise not to tell if you don’t,” I said. He scuttled off toward the mud shore that overlooked that sea of idle rain water, and proceeded to take flight. I remember seeing a gas station when I arrived yesterday, so I followed the glow of franchise lights above the trees of these cookie-cutter subdivisions.

There was a Red Lobster by the interstate exit. As I had thought, there was a gas station, but I did not know that it closed at eight o’clock on Sundays. A mallard duck was right; such a town is no better than to shit on, and leave.