City & Country

Every now and then he’ll blow 200 bucks on CDs in Edmonton, they’re just noise, why doesn’t he like Metallica and AC/DC like the rest of us? He’ll go thru jobs like socks, says he either gets bored or pissed…

In the country he’ll live in his mother’s basement, reading those books no one has heard of, smoking those nasty cigars and drinking some unpronounceable wine he discovered when he was in Argentina, he saved up all the money he made one summer working in Jasper, just to go there and brought home more books, and talked on and on about some kinda artists we’ll never see and food we‘ll never eat. Every now and then he’ll blow 200 bucks on CDs in Edmonton, they’re just noise, why doesn’t he like Metallica and AC/DC like the rest of us? He’ll go thru jobs like socks, says he either gets bored or pissed off at the boss. Most of us work at Esso or A&W. Him and his friends are going to be the bachelors of this town. Only way his friend got married is because he knocked up this girl from Edmonton at a party. He says he’s going back to the Rockies to save up travelling money again and head to Europe. Why can’t he just accept fate and stay here with a job and whatever girl he can get? Maybe he’ll knock up some girl in some place where they don’t speak English. He says he’s loosing his Spanish skills anyway.

In the city he’ll live in a hostel in the sketchy part of town, share a dorm with some drunk who is on the run from his ex wife, until he moves in with some random person in a classified ad, he won’t share the house, more live around the other person who’s totally OCD and helps themselves to whatever he likes from the fridge. He’ll keep jobs for a little longer than usual only because he has rent to pay and has more books to buy. There’s plenty of people just like him around the city, he’ll get too excited while trying to talk to them, and they’ll get turned off by his vulgar small town vocabulary. His unkempt beard and baggy wardrobe make him fit in with the homeless. In stores he’ll get followed around, employees thinking he’s there to liberate whatever he can shove in his jacket. The lack of space and manners in the city will turn him into a rude bastard. He‘ll say he’s just trying to blend in with the surroundings.

There will be more space in the suburbs, with the same crap as the city, just less of it. People are still self entitled, clawing their way on to public transit, little grannies with their wheelie-bags tackling down whoever is in front just like rugby players. He’ll watch one of them demand a young girl to get up and give her a seat, the girl will stand up to show the bus that her stomach is the size of pumpkin she’s so pregnant, as she’s pushed out of the way. The city is just a 20 minute ride on the bus, why bother? He’ll have to get two jobs to pay rent and some groceries, have less and less time to read. Less time for life, more time on transit.

On vacation panhandlers will say “thanks anyway, have a good day” and he’ll remember the manners he used to have, he’ll throw wrappers and to-go cups in the garbage cans instead of just on the ground, cuz in the city he adapted to think that it’s someone’s job to pick it up. He won’t just walk away or ignore people in public.

Dreaming of going back to the country, it’ll be like he failed city life. Was everyone right all along? Which way is up? What to do when I get there? Where is that There? Cities are full of assholes, nothing but hicks in small towns. Cities have more to do, but it all costs money. So you work and work to get money. Then you have no time to do anything, cuz you’re busy working. Stay in your home town and find some girl and she’ll poop out some babies and you’ll wonder what your life would have been like if you went to the city instead.

 

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R.Keith

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