I just love small town America. I was once visiting a town in Washington State and dropped my car off for an oil change. I had an hour or two to kill, so I found a nice little diner and went in for coffee and a sandwich. There I learned that Earle has finally got himself a girlfriend who is trashy, but not as trashy as her predecessors; Caleb is a ‘John Deere’ man, just like his pappy and grandpappy before him; men in Massachusetts have a different taste in women (I never did find out what that meant); and that the only farmer in the place who hadn’t yet retired was exasperated about certain current events and even more exasperated that his ex-colleagues were still refusing to openly condemn a particular, peculiarly orange-tinted politician, although they had at least finally admitted they’d been wrong about him all along and his administration was looking more like a disaster with every passing day. (Lots of good-natured ribbing ensued). The idle, gentle gossip filled the place like a big but friendly brawl and, just like when I lived in the rural mid-West, I was immediately accepted and included in all the separate conversations, even though I clearly didn’t have much to contribute.
All the division and nastiness that was so prevalent at the time made it easy to forget that the world has so many decent and friendly people, and days like that make me feel like I’m living in a movie. I love it.