a trail home :: lists*

Full immersion into the bottom of these two rural cultures means:

  • I do my own hair color and cut.
  • I make most of my own meals.
  • I haven’t had a professional mani/pedi in almost 2 years.
  • I haven’t been to a movie theater in almost 3 years.
  • I can’t get in to see a dentist for more than a year.
  • I have one or no option for internet.
  • Those around me ignore me into invisibility.
  • I chose to nurse a deep puncture wound on my hand for months instead of seeing the one power-stealing male doctor in town.
  • The natural environment around me is being destroyed.
  • I use my own manual labor for property maintenance.
  • My groceries cost me a third more to buy.
  • Gas is a quarter more per gallon.
  • I live across the street and next door to angry white men who rip their need for control right out of the animals and trees and grasses around them.
  • The roar of trucks and service vehicles on my street is consistent.
  • Passive aggression is a consistent barrier to my forward momentum.
  • Inaccurate information intentionally offered is a barrier to my forward momentum.
  • Practices based on outdated information and uninformed assumptions are barriers to my forward momentum.
  • Opaque professional processes are a barrier to my forward momentum.
  • No one believes or trusts me here.
  • My professional credentials have no value here.
  • I am judged by my zip code.
  • POC assume I’m like all the other white people around me.
  • Fear of punishment (retaliation, blocked access to resources, ignoring into nonexistence, etc.) is weaponized against me.
  • If I screamed for help here, no one would hear me.

Little red and black stickers, just the first two months of goo:

  • SR Water company Mary’s barely contained rage at the newcomer.
  • The SRer on Foothill Close with his dog, Taco, flashing his light in my bedroom window and waking me just to stare through the window at my exposed body.
  • The three SRer women at night on Antler with the white dog pushing their flashlight into my face, while I’m holding Sparkles, shouting that I’m being judged by SR “owners.”
  • Mark Hellender on Leeward ignoring my shouts to “stop!” dragging the golden retriever by her neck on a choke chain all the way down the street.
  • The many, many SRers on Highway 1 playing the slow-down game: “Steal everyone’s forward momentum who doesn’t have a little red and black sticker on their windshield.”
  • The raging SRer next door shoving the mower around while a child screams from inside the house.
  • The man on the beach–with the two cute little white poodles who distract and trip visitors—smiling and jogging away in the other direction as I struggle to stay upright against the tide.
  • The “concerned” SR neighbors who “saw” Sparkles in the sewer, on the highway, near the sheep, and near their pit bull. (All inaccurate information offered intentionally– weaponized fear.)
  • The SRer who let her dogs run at me on the Chapel trail, while smiling silently as I stand as still as possible in fear, objecting.
  • The SRer in his little pickup on Timberridge who stopped while I was taking a picture just to laugh and say, “it’s just a tree—haven’t you seen one before?”
  • The TSRA woman territorializing the Moonraker pool.
  • The other SR woman at Moonraker sourly surveying the “colored” people and “renters.”
  • The literally hundreds of offered smiles to SRers not returned, and their physical turning away from waves of greeting.
  • The attempts at small talk that splat and die, unacknowledged.
  • The intentional avoidance of eye contact with all “outsiders.”
  • The totalizing effect of small town talk.

*This is an illustration of normal communication and practices found in one or both rural cultures. It is data.

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First Rural Portal Project edition anticipated January 20, 2020 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Center for U.S. Rural Cultures Studies is an Accelerate Publishing project. Accelerate: A Niche Publishing & Communications Consulting Co.,–est. in 2015–is a socially just for-profit small business in California.