Against all smart odds, I signed a lease on an apartment a day after I arrived in, um, this town. (More on toponyms below.) It's a serviceable little 2BR place. I plan to use the smaller bedroom as my study. And it has a deck! And the landlord is giving me some used furniture for free! He's actually a very sweet guy, aside from all the noxious Tea Party/Sarah Palin paraphernalia he has. (None of it in my place, thank heavens.) I haven't gotten over the unselfconscious ease with which people say racist things here, but I guess my poker face will get a workout.
Oh yes, racism, right. It turns out that my new locale possesses deep (if narrow) cultural memory of the Civil War. They were on the losing side. Many contemporary residents seem as if they still have half a mind to make the south rise again. The whole nasty historical period and its long aftermath seems to hang over much of the town, and even the university itself. I've never experienced anything like this before.
I toyed with some options for a good location pseudonym, and the one that keeps insistently coming to mind is Unquiet Past. This yields very awkward acronyms, though, so I'm thinking of glossing it as Ghosttown and, naturally, Ghosttown U.
Fork in the road
1 day ago