Sunday, February 8, 2009
What's wrong with this picture? Correct - that telephone pole in the background ruins the whole thing. If I were the photoshopping type, I'd eliminate it, but I'm not so here it is in all its imperfection. That sea gull looks bored. He looks like he wants to get into some trouble.
Being bored and looking for entertainment that may or may not have been trouble is the topic of our next entry in my little story contest.
Below is Entry #4 in our ongoing story contest.
Contestant #1's story is here.
Contestant #2's story is here.
Contestant #3's story is here.
Cast of Characters
By Contestant #4
To write a story about only one character in Mathews would be unbelievably hard to do without it intertwining with others, much like our family trees around these parts. So today I give you a glimpse into a few of the characters and experiences that one might have had the great opportunity to meet and live through by growing up around here.
First time you got a job here in Mathews and if you worked in the right spot, a spot that many teenagers in this tiny little town could have considered their second home; you would have learned the art of compassion and generosity from the owner. (Unlike her counterpart where you may have learned, how to scribble out a license plate on a order pad or the art of the piercing mean look) The sweet lovely owner of this popular hang out gave me my first job, even if I never could get the grill quite right or maybe I spent more time flirting than working, I still got paid and she never told me not to come back. I remember late one night long after we had closed we sat down and tallied up the “I O U” list and being shocked to find that the total was STAGGERING. I learned a huge lesson that night, I learned that a big heart also had a big price tag, but that it was OK because it meant you could be happy with who you were and that is a gift that is priceless. I have often thought about the peoples names that were on that list and wondered if they realized the price that this woman had to pay so they could go home that night full, and I wondered if they had enough in them to go say “Thank You” and offer her a big Mathews county hug.
On a Friday afternoon, you may have met up with two of your high school friends for a couple of laps around the town. You would enjoy your ride from the back seat of a Ford Escort, a little gold one, in which may or may not have been a beer or two. Windows down, hair flying, radio up, brakes tapping. As you ride by the ever popular local teen hangout the driver of this little adventure notices that EVERYONE (by everyone I mean anyone who was in a truck with 4 wheel drive and a 3 inch lift kit) was going through the HUGE hole in the back of the joint and water was flying!! The driver exclaims “WE ARE DOING IT!!” to which the Shot Gunner replies “ YEA!!! WE CAN DO THIS!” to which the back seater says.. “Better not.” they laughed at me.. Called ME a wimp.. Me the leaper of tall buildings with a single beer? me the leader of the let’s try everything once club? ME A WIMP??? So through their fits of giggles with anticipation of driving through the mud filled crater I repeated my slightly annoyed now plea of “Seriously.. You really ought notta.” (side note: ought notta is perfectly good language around here) A peal of laughter erupted from the front seat as we pulled into the parking lot in that little one horse sled of a car, I knew we were head straight to the back for our spin through bottomless pit. By this point I knew there was no turning back so I just shrugged down in my seat and smile an evil little grin knowing where we were headed no self respecting teen aged Mathews county girl would want to emerge from. Right about that second SPPPLLLLLOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!!!! The water hits the car and the laughter from the front seat quickly turned from squeals of delight to screeches of disgust!!! As I leaned up to my mud covered counterparts in the front seat perfectly free of mud and dirty water I could not help but giggle and say “Told ya. Maybe next time you should put the winders up.” Characters those two..
Due to the lack of better things to do around here while at the rough age of somteen, you may spend hours consuming really bad wine combined with really cheap liquor with your sister and a pair of brothers, only to find about 5 pm you are on the brink of death from boredom. You all decide that it would be fun to “go across the river” I don’t think there was ever a real reason to make that trek other than it was something to do rather than sit there looking at each other. After consumption of all that yummy cheapness you would be surprised to find that the bridge in itself is more fun than the Loch Ness Monster! You spend roughly an hour going up one side at about 20 mile an hour to make it to the top to FLOOR BOARD IT on the other side to the bottom. (Luckily we did not meet a character that night in the form of the local police occifer.) On about the 2nd or maybe it was the 25th trip you may realize that you are mortality drunken and desperately need to get to a hospital quickly or you may die right there in the arms of your sister. You may in fact scream TAKE ME TO THE HOSPITAL for the next 30 minutes as the driver of the Loch Ness makes his way back home which is no where close to the direction of the hospital. Believe me realizing you are not headed in the direction of your request will upset you greatly and you being planning your next move 13 minutes before you are even home. “AHHHHHHHH... Know what ta do!” is the phrase that pops into your alcohol pickled brain.. The doors of the Loch Ness at last open and you SPRING (OK OK stumble) into action. While everyone is fumbling around getting this and that out of the ride... You slip off into the darkness. Seconds later (dang it stop that will ya this is the way I want the story to be... Ok Ok.. It was really 42 minutes later) your sister realizes you are missing and quickly gathers a search party (sigh .. FINE.. She put on her shoes alone and wanders out in the yard to peer into the darkness for your drunken self) This gets quite complicated and lengthy from here so I am going to wrap this up by saying..
You see if you have grown up around here you may have had the opportunity to climb a tree while completely intoxicated and giggle at the lone searcher of your dead body. You may have also had the opportunity to sit in the tree until someone finally found you because you realized that you were slightly related to a cat and could figure out how to get up there but couldn’t get down..
After writing this little excerpt of memories of Mathews I realize there is no place I would rather have spent my youth, no matter how many times I raged at hating this tiny little town to my parents, or threw the words out to my friends “As soon as I graduate I am outta here!” This town is full of people and memories of a youth gone wild that no other place on earth could ever compare to. The big city could never hold the excitement that one experienced by riding around after school with your friends, or working in a large department store could never hold a candle to the place where you learn valuable lessons of life as a 14 year old employee. Even as an adult and having moved back to this tiny little town (yup I really did take off after school) I can feel the kinship in my heart as I log online and spend hours with my regular cast of characters reminiscing over days gone by.. We will always be one. The cast of characters of Mathews.