Hey guys, Noah, here.
Here’s another exercise from my Creative Writing class.
Our teacher asked us to finish the sentence, “In my town, down the road, meant…?”
You will be surrounded by stupid people, ignorant people that didn’t know any better, and are too busy gossiping about other people’s problems in order to ignore their own. You had to think small, because that was the size of most people’s dreams that lived there.
These were some of the thoughts that went through my head when I was young. I only wanted to look at the negatives about living in a small town, and I missed out on all of the great things about it. I couldn’t wait to get out! Probably another reason why I crashed and burned the second I did get out. I made it through college once I leftRoseau, Minnesota, a town whose population doesn’t exceed three thousand, but I didn’t make it much further. I ran to Minneapolis, a town that I thought was more my pace, because in my rural upbringing I had always felt out of place.
Once I was indicted, however, I had a year of pretrial where I had to come back with my tail between my legs. I was no longer Noah, the grandson of Bob Bergland, Secretary of Agriculture for Jimmy Carter. I was now a disgraced drug trafficker, whose life was now hanging in the balance.
This hometown of mine had every right to push me away, exile me to my parents homestead and not give me a second chance, but that isn’t what the majority did. My mom lined me up with a few painting jobs, the only trade I was ever half decent at, and something amazing happened from there…the community got behind me.
My view of my hometown is now something completely different from what my 18 year old self thought back in 2004, when I was leaving with no intention of ever coming back.
Well, I did come back, just like so many before me, and I soon found out why my parents had decided to raise my siblings and I there. It’s a safe community, full of people who have the the best of intentions. You don’t have to worry about whether your child is going to be abducted walking home from school. People typically only get shot during hunting accidents. Kids only die in car accidents, when they make bad choices, like getting behind the wheel while under the influence. People don’t always care what others say about you and are willing to give you a second chance until you prove them wrong.
The local hardware, True Value, will give you a line of credit to charge your supplies to, without filling out a single form. The local Bank, Citizens State Bank, will still hire you to paint their property even though you defaulted on a car loan. I still get emails from my mom after six years of incarceration with messages from different people from Roseau who are waiting for me to come and paint when I get out, a trip I will certainly have to take.
I guess when someone asks me now, in my town, down my road, meant… I would say, “simple.” A word I didn’t know how to appreciate the meaning of until now.
Thanks for listening.
From the inside,