Welcome to our
innocuous little town of
Die Slow, Indiana

The municipal guidelines and
are as follows:
  • Exercise your right to vote
  • Do not feel ashamed
    or disgusted with something
    as petty as oneself

Take this brochure
and a bumper sticker
and peacefully be on your way

We know you will enjoy your stay

... she grew up tall and she grew up right,
With them Indiana boys on an Indiana night.

Mid america, middle of summer.

I'm sitting at a stop light for a few seconds and for what feels like four hours. I am approximately an equal distance from California to D.C. By chance, the calendar is halfway from the first of the year to the last. This is me, returning to Indiana on a humid night in June.

The best thing about small towns is also the worst: no one to bother you equals nothing much to do. Low crime equates to low everything.

In the days before you arrived I thought I might die of boredom. In the months after you left I was sure I was already dead. You only spent one summer, stuck, in your words, in the middle of nowhere, with a job your folks had set up for you in between semesters. I know you hated it as much as I needed you and I needed you Bad. Having you around made me crazy. But when you left, waking up without you felt a whole lot like anesthesia.

Last dance with Mary Jane,
one more time to kill the pain.

I guess I am in debt to you, because your departure made me dislike this town enough to want to leave it myself. I headed out of town six months later. Not forever of course, but for a long while. Ten years plus until this week. Until tonight, this stoplight and this song.

Have you ever spent an afternoon hungover, sitting on the couch all day watching TV with the sound off? Yep, like that.

I feel summer creepin' in
and I'm
tired of this town again.

All lyrics above from Tom Petty
Mary's Jane's Last Dance

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