Richmond, Indiana

24 hours in Richmond, Indiana.

My first time driving up I-65 North all by my lonesome, the Beach Boys, Thin Lizzy, Pujol, the Ladybirds keeping me company. An exit sign for a 'destination vacation' for the low brow, enticing me to make sure I experience the historic district and the most 'unique' antique mall in the fair town. Off the exit ramp and making my way through town, signs for Square Doughnuts and The Mighty Muffler happen to catch my eye.

I arrive at my friend's house and the neighborhood makes me smile. We're not in her house more than 15 minutes before we're in her car, she's showing me the sites while simultaneously packing a bowl. The romantical illusion of a small town high school with a bridge across the street, identified as Suicide Bridge. Speaks for itself, with cryptic graffiti messages such as "Love You, Miss You."

I am 27 years old and  felt like I was having the high school americana experience I fantasized or saw in movies. Where was John Mellencamp when we needed him? Driving through a miniature downtown with outdated abandoned buildings, that have photographic appeal more than anything else. Driving through the country side in small town Indiana, with rows and rows of corn fields and roads going no where, getting stoned and having nothing to do. I say God Damn.

When the sun goes down, there is no forgiveness. There is only conversations involving Lamb of God VS. Prince and cannibalism. I begin to wonder what it means to appreciate something, someone, anything. It carries the same weight as the overdramatized usage of 'respect.'

The colorful clan of a small town bar. I could tell you it was one of those 'you had to be there' sort of nights. And yes, you should have been there, if only to compete with me for Miss Small Town Fag Hag 2012. There was a, ahem, woman on my left who was trying to convince me to go to the bathroom so she could show me her titties while proceeding to tell me about the younger woman she went down on on the pool table the weekend before. On my right was a frail, dainty very gay young man in a grey wife beater smoking Marlboros and telling me how beautiful I am (okay, that wasn't so awful.)

A man, dutifully donning cowboy attire walks in with a couple people and immediately the air mixes among the Marlboro with tension. From what I could gather, it involved a woman. Well, duh. But I found it off that the situation was between Cowboy and  Dainty Grey Shirt. There was almost a fight, of Rock Em Sock Em proportions, but mostly it was uncomfortable. Let's put it this way, Cowboy would've been the Red Robot.

Amidst all the drama, a majority of the evening was spent listening to metal music, aside from the one ZZ Top song I requested, grinding my teeth and going into a lengthy conversation about how I could appreciate this kind of music and the culture that seems so passionate behind it. But for the record, and really this should just go without saying, Prince and Lamb of God should never be involved in the same conversation.

I will also say this: if you're going to visit a new town, city,'s important to realize that you're not in your world anymore. Expectations should be flexible. More than anything it's important to be open minded and considerate when soaking up a new culture. That's the beauty in small towns, of which most would argue have no culture. But I completely disagree. There might not be a lot to do, but people are forced to create their own, and they tend to have better stories. It's there, you just have to look for it...either behind The Alley Kat or in the middle of a corn field.


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