Sitting on the tiny front porch, she looked out on a scene that had gone unchanged for almost forty-four years. New growth on the trees, a few more shrubs, and age enveloping poorly made houses that could not hide their faults. But, still the same.

Little Bobby Stimpson hobbled by the failed front gate. Crippled badly since birth, he almost made her laugh with his wobbly walk. There had always been someone like Bobby Stimpson walking these little streets it seemed. Someone who had problems with their body or their head. It too was something that never changed. Permanently broken. Normal.

Just past the gate Bobby stopped and turned. As usual they stared at one another for what seemed like minutes. Finally, in a voice garbled and ruined like the rest of him, he croaked, “I hooope you da da diieee ‘n rot ol’ laaady”. He hobbled on. “Nothing good don’t last” she mumbled.

I growed up po and ignant in Alabama. Then I went off to college and became a socialistic atheistic business school grad with an MBA. Not wanting to add evil capitalistic bastard to my resume, I obtained an antidote degree -the MFA. What a difference a letter makes. Now I teach college and make art. That's more fun and I'm less prone to drift toward the dark side. So, at the advanced age of sixty.... I have chosen mind over matter, joined the League of Defensive Pessimists and have no better answers, only fewer questions.

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