Sunday, February 12, 2006

After any visit to my hometown I feel a little like Hank from King of the Hill.

A week passes quickly--days filled with nothingness that is good enough to never let go. Drives aren't just drives when you're really home. One road can trigger so many memories; ones seemingly gone but easily remembered.

You notice the little things that an out-of-towner never would: dents in the street signs from beer bottles being thrown by passing teenagers. An almost invisible mark in the metal and yet it means something to you because you get why its there... Because you have marked your own metal in your own time.

To know a town so well that you know it too well. It can happen. As soon as my body enters the city limits of my home town I feel different inside. Words come out differently--and sometimes have different meaning. People change, but everything seems still and the same.

Right. So why do I feel like Hank?

Simple. Hometown conversation. Abbreviated yet meaningful. Simple yet significant. Casual yet important. You know... When "yup" and just the right look can mean so much more than anything else.

"um-hum." Hanks says it so nicely.

He is a content man on familiar territory. His beer is cold and his friends are close.

I am glad that going home makes me feel a bit like Hank.

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