No Name on the Map

 It’s tough in the jungle.

Slow cars for small roads. I was riding in the passanger side accompanying my mother on an adventure to the James River. We were headed toward the ferry, picnic in brown paper bags, sunglasses, pressed against the pits of our eyes, camera in the purse.

Now we just had to roll through the sleeping towns of Dollar General, Video Store, (actual name) the Grocers Market, one restaurant, one bar, and several concrete houses. The towns that didn’t quite make the map. The back roads with back woods people lazily strolling down a dirt road sidewalk. Burly men with open beer cans out in public. Sun burnt February. These were the villes.

“I wouldn’t mind living up here.” Again, I was surprised to hear Mom say such a thing. “It’s funny, when I moved down to the South I was so suspicious of everyone. Why ARE these people smiling… I guess you’re finding out the opposite up North.”

We drove past a couple more no-map villes and ended up under the clouds. Trespassing onto the Ferry boat and skipping stones into the river. Sandwiches never tasted so good. Water never felt so cold. We were home grown into the jungle.


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