What am I doing here? I don’t belong in this place. This is what I think as I view the street and square of Mount Irvin, a dinky little town in Indiana. I’m not from here. I’m from Atlanta. But my loving ex-wife Rikki manipulated me into leaving. But i’m getting ahead of myself.
When I knew I couldn’t hang on there in Atlanta I should’ve checked myself into a private psychiatric hospital and had my nervous breakdown in peace, instead of trying to work, which I have no business doing. From living in a house in Marietta to a mold infested apartment over a store. Mid summer. Hot as hell. Claustrophobic place. My panic disorder would have me running down the streets screaming like a poisoned Duke if I didn’t have a headful of Amitryptiline.
You see, summer in a small town in the Midwest can be deadly. Worse than the slum summer I spent in Baltimore or the deep wet summer in the port of Brunswick, Georgia. It isn’t the deadliness of filth and despair. But on summer weekends an evil message seems to be passing from sunlight to shadow at the edge of afternoon in the relentless curse of time.
Of course the reason this is worse is obvious: I am alone. That’s why. I was a fool to let Rikki root me out of my home. It was just as much mine as hers.
Summer waddling by slowly. Days begin to rhyme, heat bending the air, small breaks in the pavement, days when nothing moves but insects. A scream is imminent at every door and window. The threat is worst in summer in the wide rows of sunlight. Sundays in a small Midwest town inflames and perverts emotion with the speed of insanity. And I feel it most on Sunday when everything is closed.
Let me correct myself. Weekends are worst. During the week there is work and I’m not at home enough to feel it. The rage and panic hit on weekends. Sometimes Saturday, sometimes Sunday. Usually not both. Yesterday was just such a Saturday and it was so bad I almost checked myself into the hospital.
Sundays it’s as though the vile miasma of all Christendom is spread over the land. Metal hot to the touch and hell stench of mold inside this place. Gideon bibles turning yellow all over the state. Revivalists handling snakes. Christian wives going to bible camp to learn how to be more judgmental. WTF am I doing here? I want to go home.