About a year and a half ago, friend Erin moved from Queens back down to North Carolina, in search of a more sustainable creative life. She’s from Yadkinville, near where I’m from, but she chose to hunker down in the NC Mountains, which is basically the world’s largest antique store, but all outside, and it also sells Mountains and Sunsets and airbrushed T shirts. Yesterday, she showed me the nearby town of Canton, which she’d fallen in love with, and NOW ME TOO. Erin had become fascinated by it but had yet to find anyone who saw it like she did, and as she drove us through, I LEPT OUT OF MYSELF. It’s not even that it’s a charming small town. It’s such an odd combination of things, at once in various stages rebirth and decay. It looks like the inside of my head when I used to write stories in college about buses who were actually people and the girls who rode them. It’s like a set designer designed all of it except that NO ONE EVER COULD BECAUSE IT’S TOO REAL.
It’s got everything: a massive and creepy and stunning, post-apaclyptic paper mill THAT SUPPLIES ALL OF THE COUNTRIES MILK CARTONS:
Crumbling brick buildings next to carefully planned spring flowers,
ABANDONED CHRISTIAN ACADEMIES,
ARBRITRARY WHIMSICAL AND CAREFULLY CRAFTED SIGNAGE:
BIBLE THEMED BAKERIES,
But most specially, and most significantly, it’s got me E, who I think just might be the new Heart of the town, if not Mayor, and so I’ll definitely be back.