You Lower the IQ of the Whole Street

I. ‘Twixt Daleville and Chesterfield

It’s the lull before the storm. Tomorrow, the plan-making & general getting-everything-sorted-ening for the summer (& fall) begin in earnest. Now, though, I can take stock of what’s soon going to happen.

Two big things loom large in the coming months. One I’m not comfortable telling anyone about just yet. The other is big and daunting and many-headed and involves a lot of hopping back and forth between Pennsylvania and Indiana.

Except I might not be going back to Muncie. Instead, depending on how things shake loose, I might find myself in Anderson this fall. Anderson, for those you who aren’t Indiana people, is about forty minutes southwest. An easy pop down 32. All I’m saying is, logistically speaking, this move would be a walk in the park. It’s so close I (probably) wouldn’t even need to rent a truck.

But still I hesitate.

I’ve been in Anderson maybe twice in my life. It’s a decent enough town. Apartments are slightly cheaper down there, and it’s a bit more convenient for what I’d be doing. Like with Muncie, I probably wouldn’t want to live there permanently, but for now it’ll do. It’s not like I have roots in Muncie anyway. I have no good reason not to be hesitant about this.

But still I hesitate.

To a foreigner like me, a lot of the mythos surrounding Muncie centers on the Middletown studies and the place’s unofficial status as The Most Typical Small Town In America. A typical town in a typical state with a typical Main Street and typical amenities and typical people. The sort of place John Mellencamp sings about. So average you begin to wonder if the omnipresent down-home family values wholesomeness hides some dark secrets. Anderson has no such history and thus no similar fiction wellspring, though it might have an incredible simulation of same or something.

But still I hesitate.

I dunno.

II. ‘Twixt Pendleton and Albany

Naturally, when one leaves a place, one begins to take stock of what one appreciates about the place. So some things I like about Muncie.

I like that it’s a college town. I’m frequently out late, and because I’m from an economically-depressed high-crime city, the armpit of the Keystone State, I get jittery when I’m alone at night, even when it’s perfectly safe. Fortunately, because it’s a college town, there are a lot of college kids out at night. Yes, they’re drunk and rowdy, but all I care about is the presence of other people, altered consciousness or no.

One really nice thing about a mid-size college town is the buses are free for students. And they had a bus to the Wal-Mart. Yes, it’s Wal-Mart, with the attendant depressors, but it’s super-convenient. (Besides, they’re all faceless, soul-devouring corporations anyway, so what difference does it make where you do your shopping?) I only care about this because I really hate driving and would like to avoid it if at all possible.

Also because it’s a college town, they have a University Village, this nice little strip with shops and restaurants and watering holes. I’d head on down there sometimes if I was hungry. And just the presence of the college itself, with the library and the two student centers, gave me someplace to go when I’m walking or bike riding.

Speaking of walking, I love my neighborhood. The streets are narrow and the houses are relatively close together. It’s a snug place, easily walkable. (And, once again, it’s full of college kids.) I went on a quick Street View tour around Anderson and I can’t find anyplace quite like it.

These are all little things. But it is the little things that can make or break a place. I’m sure Anderson would be fine. I’m just worried about constantly whining that it isn’t Muncie. This is all lost on you, I’m sure. You probably can’t even tell the two towns apart.

I want to start writing long posts here again. I want to finish posting the Australia travelogue. I want to write about more recent horror stories. I want to write. I’ll be nose-deep in Summer Planning Stuff for a while, so I can’t promise anything. But we shall see.

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About theoditsek

I like going places.
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