An Appreciation Part One: Downtown in the Fitz

     When walking around downtown a couple days ago, I realized that the Fitz would be a good place for a novelist to live. It's quiet and quirky and small. There's no bowling alley or skating rink. There's no movie theatre. The theatre downtown will play movies, but they don't have a digital projector. Although, they are raising money for one. So every movie they play, no matter how modern, looks like an antique. The middle of the screen is brightest and the light fades around the edges.
    There is, however, plenty of space. Room to move and stretch. Sometimes after being in the house, in school, or in my car, I look around. I'll look out the driver's side window or out through the back porch glass and see a wide expanse. Next to where I live is a big empty field with a grape vine on the far edge. On my way to or from school, I pass several farms. When I face those fields, I feel my brain drain and my eyes fill with the empty space. Suddenly, tension is relieved. The whole day I was boarded up. Trapped by responsibility and closed spaces. And so, when I look out my window (another wall) I am relieved to see an outside world. It's like my imagination has the space to roam. I see stories unfold across those fields.
    There are so many potential mysteries in this little town. Some buildings downtown stand empty with things like old karate equipment abandoned inside. There is a building that was once a thrift store, but now it looks like a tornado hit the inside. There are functioning small businesses and restaurants waiting for customers. In some of those places they know me by name and in others I'm just another face. I like the mix. And most people don't care or wouldn't understand that I write online for fun in addition to going to school. They wouldn't understand my dreams or goals and I don't know if they would much care if I accomplished them all. I like that. Here my success is only defined by if I am able to live well enough. I like the way they define success. It's small. It's enough.


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