Lonely, Small Town Kids

May 14, 2012
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Evan wondered why all the stories he’d read lately were about unpopular, lonely kids living in boring small towns. Maybe it was his choice in novels. But, he thought, for all the books I’ve read there could not be nearly so many ‘lonely small towns’ inhabited by unpopular kids. To Evan, everywhere that was boring or small town-esque to most was never the same way to him. Towns changed every day! The monotony of accumulated life was something he could never quite grasp, even as he took the same walk to the bus where he had his hour long drive to school each day, and the same route back home. Each day had something new to hold on a single-lined path that determined the outcome of each of the stems branching from an event.

The homes and buildings stayed, for the most part, rooted in their same square plots, but the people inside them were constantly growing, changing, receding, fighting, crying, smiling and so on. New tears and scrapes were added to curtained windows. New cigarettes blacked new and old lungs alike. Life was created and taken; love and war excitedly made each day, and was still never the same. Lovers entwined never had limbs tangled quite the same way as before. Chores were done and dinners made, but the feelings and thoughts that accompanied them were not the same. Outside, each season that passed the homes was unlike the others had been, a constant cycling out of old day into each beginning day.

Even the inside the homes people were ever changing, Evan noted. Not one day in Evan’s entire life had been exchanged in exactly the same way, doing exactly the same thing with the exact same people under the exact same circumstances. Evan was not, in fact, the same Evan he had been a year ago, or twenty days ago, or even just a few minutes ago. Evan kept on being Evan, but he would not remain the same Evan he was at that moment. Even the girl he dreamed about was changing and growing with or without his help. She was probably pouring her dark hair over her shoulder, lightly tugging on the ends while she worked on homework or made plans for the weekend with a friend.

He embraced the newness that everything had to it, as the old path, which under the same sun became a new path each day, was taken by him to reach his home. He loved the fact that he could both think about his love for this girl while contemplating the world. Maybe he would fall in love, and just maybe she might fall in love back with him, and then maybe they would fall out of love and Evan would regret thinking about her and the world in one strain of thought. He would regret it because he was not the same Evan he was before he had fallen in love with her. He thought of getting the chance to share these thoughts with her, wondering if she would grasp what he was holding onto, and even so she would hold it differently than he. She might just think he was silly, as they lie on top of her bed and stare up at the Christmas lights she had hanging around her walls, little stars in the sky of her bedroom. But maybe, she would not.

Maybe she would not just listen to what Evan was saying, but hear and accept his words to be some form of truth. And maybe for her those Christmas lights were not, in fact, just Christmas lights. Perhaps to her they really were the lights of some distant stars across a universe contained entirely inside the four walls of her bedroom. Evan could only hope that she too would see those stars, and believe them to be just as real as he did. If so, he told himself, if she does believe and see what I can see in her, then maybe we can hold the stars to ourselves for a moment. Just a moment in the stars is all one needs to inspire for a lifetime. All of his thoughts about her, and of the world, and of a universe inside of a girl’s bedroom across town brought Evan from the point of single thoughts to novel-worthy strands at an epiphany.

And in all of these strands to creating an epiphany, Evan thought of the truly serendipitous world that he lived in, in chaotic harmony with the rest of the thriving world. The joy that just these simple, bus-riding thoughts brought him each time as his day unwound into the rest of his life—his mind was both an escape and an understanding to how his world worked. The beauty in each moment of this, and of the girl he dreamed about, made him strong. This strength, an inner one, if that, could only be used to create the man he would someday be. Perhaps, instead of all these thoughts being courageous and against what Evan, as a teenage boy, should be thinking about, it truly was just nonsense. But Evan had never been known for nonsense. He had only been known as another lonely, small town boy.





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