On my way to my parents' house, I passed a house where my childhood best friend's husband lived. It's a square cinder block house, the kind where one side of the block is coated with ceramic asbestos paint. It's a terrible puke-mint-green color with a white door, no shutters, and no shrubbery. It looks naked without those things.
He hated the
house, called it The Cracker Box both because it was the approximate
size of a cracker box and because many people in the small, conservative
community considered him and his *gasp* divorced mother to be white
trash. His mother is a first rate Hell-bitch. She once broke her ring
and pinkie fingers by slapping him with her rings turned so that the
stones were inside her palm. He came to homeroom bleeding from three
cuts on his chin and laughed when I told him. She was mean and
tough but had to be. She had a strong-willed boy to raise with no help
from family. She refused all government aid.
She waited until
after he graduated from high school to marry her long-time "boyfriend."
When she did, she moved out to his lake house and sold The Cracker
Box. It's now Don's Pawn Shop. A large fluorescent sign with a giant
pistol on top pokes out of the lawn to let potential customers know that
cash for Christmas is only a sale away. It's one of the most
ridiculous things I've ever seen. Someone I cared about lived there,
grew up there, lost his virginity there, and now there's is a giant
pistol on top of a sign in the front yard.
I don't know
whether to laugh or cry.