When I was in Romania I wanted to try and become Romanian. Of course I could never become an authentic Romanian but I saw it as a challenge-direction and it didn’t matter to me that it was a feat I’d never accomplish. I did not want to consort with my fellow Americans. Nothing against Americans. I love Americans. I am an American. Sure we’ve fucked up now and then, but overall, well, hell, most of us are pretty nice folks. I know I am. Nicest guy you could ever meet and I credit my birth and being raised in and as an American.
So when it was certain we’d have to depart Romania – which I absolutely did not want to do – and I knew our destination was Virginia – I tried to remember things about this place that pleased me, where I could send my memory to retrieve happy memories. There were plenty. But they also involved for the most part genuine Virginians. The rural people. They were already in their forties and fifties when I was a youngster. They were consummate storytellers and they did it with infectious and genuine drawl and all their drawls were unique to themselves.
They are gone, now, the last as of just a few days ago, at the age of 84. A younger crop does exist. But they ain’t the same. And now, here we are in this neighborhood that’s actually quite sweet – older section of a city that isn’t really a city but a spread out town which population has undergone incredible expansion in the last couple decades. Our neighbors are really nice people. Friendly. Talkative. Neighborly. After only a couple weeks I can say I look forward to being neighbors. But they are not Virginia natives. A jogging town this appears to be – lots of joggers – more people jogging by than walking by; college kids I think; overhear them speak – if they are Virginia natives I wouldn’t know from their speech.
Hell, I’m not a Virginia native, but I think if I brushed up on my tongue action I could put on a mild speech pattern sympathy. And I do love the sweet tea. Sorry but I can’t hardly drink the domestic beer. Tried. Tried this afternoon. Tried three cans. Sure I got a bit of a buzz. And we got a swell porch. Just that it’d be nice to watch pretty women walk by while sipping a decent beer on our swell porch. Don’t know. Just don’t know.