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Bare Feet and Roses
Someday, somewhere, someone will give me a rose for Valentines days. It can be pink, or red, or white, or even yellow. Hell, I wouldn’t care if it was black, so long as it was a rose, and it was from a guy who actually gave a damn. In this town, all I can do it dream.
People call it a small town, but it’s not so small anymore. They keep building more and more subdivisions, making us into nothing but a bedroom community for the cities. I guess I shouldn’t complain. After all, I go into the city every day. I got myself a partial scholarship to one of the universities. I study English. Where that will get me I don’t know, but it’s better than doing nothing. Waiting. Watching. Sitting. Some of my friends are already engaged, or living with their high school sweethearts. Some have just moved out and live alone in one room apartments. Everybody’s got to do something.
In the summer, I like to sit out on my front porch. I sit out there, with an extension cord running through the screen door and a record player at my feet. Willie Nelson never sounds quite as good when I play him indoors. George Jones and Lynn Anderson always get how I feel when the moon seems like nothing more than an empty ball, void of meaning.
I like to watch the road in the evenings. Every once in a while a truck full of guys will tear by. A fast car with a loud muffler will blast rap music as the driver squeals his tires, realizing he can’t turn left up the block, on to that one way street. No matter who drives, or walks by, they never seem to see me.
Is there some sort of etiquette, where strangers have to pretend they don’t see each other? I bet a hundred years ago, the people who lived in this house knew every neighbour that walked by. I only recognize people by sight. That’s the problem with a growing town, people don’t introduce each other anymore.
Sometimes I get jealous when a couple walks by holding hands. Uglier people than me have fallen in love and gotten married. Maybe it’s my height. Most women aren’t five-foot-nine. Maybe it’s the way I dress or act. In growing towns, people look at you strangely, when you walk the down-town core in bare feet, carrying flip-flops in the same hand as your faded leather purse.
I like bare feet. They make me free. Sometimes, I let my hair run wild.
It’s not my body. I know I have nice legs. I’ve seen my reflection in windowpanes, and mirrors. I’ve had to buy the extra long dress pants for work. I look fantastic in dresses. I bet I could look as good as Taylor Swift, if she lent me her stylists. No, it’s not my body.
I’m not country enough for the country crowd. I’ve got nothing in common with the chicken catchers, or the tractor driving farmers I went to high school with. I don’t wear plaid shirts, or cowboy boots. I like the look of pick-up trucks, but I’ve never driven one.
I’m not city enough for the other crowd. They drink their cappuccinos at the free-trade coffee shops, and the girls squeeze their asses into leggings with leopard and floral patterns. They go to movies, and concerts, and restaurants where you need more than one fork. They think a six-pack of beer is a way to relax.
I don’t drink. I just wait on my porch, in my bare feet, hoping some guy will notice me here on the steps and maybe someday, give me a rose.