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A Small City

Amber Smith

This is the story of a small city that is easily forgotten. A small second-rate American city with a sports stadium no one wanted or asked for, unorganized gangs that mostly deal and spray paint, a science museum that is a glorified playground, unheeded political corruption, and frankly too many coffee shops.

People die at gunpoint and needlepoint. That was and is the nature of things here. People die and the world keeps spinning without a pause. This is true everywhere but there is something about the size or perhaps the nature of this city that forces ineptitude to cling tightly to the skin of its residents.


Forever present and largely unspoken are two agreed upon truths: Everyone who stays is a failure. Everyone who leaves is a success.

Of the thousands of people residing in this small city, there are simply the failures that are doing well for themselves and the failures that aren't doing as well. The latter may be starving…not that anyone seems to give a shit. The point is everyone in the city is a failure because if they could be somewhere else, they would be. Surely, using the city and its citizens as a stepping stone to get to the next thing is perfectly alright. Anything more than that would be a waste of energy.

For instance, someone who wants to be president (but never will be) will use the local politics of the city for practice. Any mistakes that are made are simply kinks that need to be worked out before the politician moves the policy someplace where the problems actually matter, and need to be solved.


Our air is polluted and our schools are poisoned, but hey ,you know what they say, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Better to crack the eggs that lack the resources than to actually advocate for their needs.


A person may open a business in this small city. It does very well. Well enough that they can afford to move the business elsewhere so they can be successful. The residents of this place may be displaced and out of work. A person has finally made it when their business goes bankrupt in the big city.


That is what this city is; a place to twiddle your thumbs waiting for the next thing, or die suffocating on the fact that you never mattered.

Or perhaps even worse. you know that you do matter in the way that every living thing is an essential part of the fabric that makes up this beautiful universe of ours. You know that you matter. so instead you suffocate on the fact that you mattered and no one saw just how special you are. No one saw you in this small city that is easily forgotten.

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