Thursday, November 3, 2011

Country Boy - Not So Much

My job dictates a lot of road work, most of it in the hinterlands of Southern New Jersey.  Yesterday I found myself lost in Franklinville, trying to find a road that would not show up on my GPS.  Fortune smiled on me when I met two different people, at two different convenience stores, who not only knew the road I was looking for, but they knew the family who lived at the phantom address.  One of them was a middle aged, chain smoking EMT who called her self, "Sunshine" (yes, Sunshine) and the other one was heading to said home to do some roof repair work.  He offered to let me follow him to the road and the house (which was festooned with hand made signs that read, "Private Property", "Guard Dogs Present" and "Only Jesus Saves").  The guard dogs proved to be several hyperactive Corgis  and, as for Jesus, well, he could not save this property from a tree that had fallen on it the night before - hence the roof repair man.

i was not on this road today, but all roads in the garden state lead to hell.

This afternoon, I made my way to a home in Atco, New Jersey.  I knocked at the front door several times and when no one answered, I walked back to my car, figuring that they had forgot about today's appointment.    It turned out that the people I was scheduled to see, lived behind this house, in a trailer, next to a rabbit farm.  This time, there was a pit-bull as well as potbelly pig to greet me as I made my way to the mobile home.  The interior of the house was a cornucopia of hording horrors (dishes on the sofa, Christmas decorations stuffed into cupboards, three televisions stacked on top of each other, clothing piled so high, it blocked out a window...).  We ended up holding our meeting outside at a rusty old picnic table where a flea-bit cat decided to use my leg as a place to scratch his back.  The gentleman of the house sat and chain-smoked cigarettes down to the filter, and his wife offered me some "warm iced tea" (which I declined).   Despite the Deliverance vibe of these people, and the tobacco road living arrangement, I could not help but sort of appreciate the choices of these people (considering it was an actual choice to live in a filthy trailer near a rabbit farm, in someone's backyard and not an unfortunate set of circumstances that landed them here) - the animals, the fresh air, the alfresco dining room.  It takes a lot to live life on your own terms no matter what others might think.  That said,  when my visit was over, I could not wait to get home to my comfortable sofa, large screen TV and running water - I guess I am not as much of a country boy as I'd like to think.

1 comment:

  1. There's nothing "country" about living like pigs. Just because one is poor, doesn't mean one can't be clean.