Coffee: Maxwell House Master Blend, Office Coffee
Last night, I went to the Third Wednesday Open Mic hosted at Fig. A colleague read from her new novel. It was pointed – as in, her words were written to have a point. A few months ago, I had my own featured reading with the group.
It’s no good time for small business. Despite the economy on an uptick, the gains are going to deeper pockets. Yes, there’s greater purchasing power, and yes, wages have gone (a little bit) up, but the blood and sweat of Americana – that store on the corner that knits your community together – is bottom-up.
Two years ago I was in Roanoke Rapids. It’s a tiny town on the Virginia border. I was taken on tour by my partner at the time, who’d grown up there. We drove around the town. There were bright old buildings with small front lawns. There was a factory that had shut down. In the epicenter, all the downtown storefronts were at best boarded over, some worsened with broken glass, a few lit windows poking through. At night, we picked up dinner at a still-thriving Chinese take-out. For lunch, we ate an an old diner that reminded me of a few places in my own home.
I read an economic outlook that says the next few years will likely avoid a recession. Rates will taper but we won’t bottom out. Good news, and from a trustworthy source. But it misses the picture of all the lives that aren’t off I-40, the towns you take a local road to get to, or the city bars stuck in a unlucky corner, destined to drown not in alcohol but in weeds.
Currently Reading: Queen, Suzanne Crain Miller
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That night, after the movie, driving my father’s car along the country roads, I began to wonder how real the landscape truly was, and how much of a dream is a dream.Don DeLillo, Americana