Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," all you bright and beautiful people! Are you having a nice day? Me neither.
Something odd is happening to me. Namely, I'm starting to like living in New Jersey.
Go ahead, call the guys in the white coats, because I don't believe it either.
I've lived in New Jersey for 23 years. That makes this state my place of residence for the bulk of my life. Yougoddaproblem widdat?
See? I don't even talk Appalachian anymore. I pick it up again when I visit home, but I used to carry my accent with me allatime.
"Home." Ahhh, that word! New Jersey, home? Ick!
Except when I go home, it's no longer there. The farmlands are covered with McMansions, the highways are tangled bumper-to-bumper nightmares, all of my kin except my sister and a handful of cousins are gone. My uncle resides at the family farm so stubbornly that I can't even go there unless I want to hear him praise Rush Limbaugh to the skies.
So I don't go to the family farm.
Even the beautiful courthouse in Berkeley Springs burned down.
Now, you take your Jersey. What does it matter if they plow under another field for a shopping center? Can't get any uglier. Already crowded. It's not like I'm going to wander out some day and see my high school friend's big ol' dairy farm covered with ticky tack.
In Jersey you expect leaf blowers at 7 a.m. on weekends, gridlocked traffic, a flat-assed landmass, and sand in the soil. The water runs uphill. (You figure that one out.)
I've finally gotten used to it. Just don't bury me here, yous goddat?
THE MERLIN OF JERSEY CITY