I open my eyes.
All around me are closely-cropped lawns and guys with flattops.
Passersby in polyester and squeaky patent leather shoes and names like “Vern” and “Lois” greet each other with phrases like “Mornin, Vern!” and “How’s your husband’s carbuncle, Lois?”
Songs by prissy blond dimpled teenagers about the wonderful wholesomeness of shoe-fly pi blare out of speakers I can’t see.
Children-all white-take group pictures in the park displaying the same glow-in-the-dark tombstone teeth.
Someone mentions Bob Dylan and is propelled by glares instantly over the state line.
The last time anyone said anything original or interesting was 1947-a statue commemorates him in a corner of the park but it is only used as a pigeon toilet.
People wash their cars on Sundays, and then golf.
The women knit. And gossip.
Everyone knows everyone, which means no one has the balls to change, lest he or she be labeled an agitator.
The most popular music is by Francis Scott Key or something, and is played by people wearing porkpie hats. One musician might be holding a washboard.
The preacher raises fire and damnation every week. For a town so utterly boring and monotonous, you would think, by his sermons, that it was Sodom. Or Gomorrah. Or both?
The librarian loves to shush people.
The library is now empty. Nothing to see here.
Pleated skirts are still a thing.
So are chinos.
The Carpenters “Top of the World” is now blasting from the speakers I still can’t see, which is good, because if I could I would batter them down with a Louisville slugger. I realize I have entered the lowest rung of Hell.
A little boy with an arrow-straight part carved into the side of his skull stares at me from behind a table. A sign says “Lemonade 50 sents.” The only reason I don’t tell him to go fuck himself is because I know his parents made him this way. So I go ahead and take a dump in the middle of his parents’ lawn. They are not enthused.
With a start I wake up. Everything is broken and I sigh contentedly.
“It was only a dream,” I say to myself.