My local mall has about a dozen stores and three places to eat.
The old bowling alley I used to go to as a kid is dilapidated and only half of the lanes work. I suppose it's better than nothing.
I've met someone at college who comes from a town of 400 people, there are literally no stores.
I was shocked, she must float to and fro between the small towns nearby.
It seems that most people from my shanty hometown never truly get out of it, and even if they do, they end up coming back sooner than they expected.
Life happens, and it leads them back home.
This place, though I've lived here my entire existence, surely is not my home. At least it doesn't feel like it, or maybe it's just that I desperately don't want it to be.
The feeling is like a yearning for something unfamiliar, but somehow, there is a faint nostalgia that comes from a place I can't comprehend completely.
My "home" is littered with trash, literally and figuratively.
Drug baggies and syringes are strewn throughout the village, toxic confetti filling the sidewalks, parking lots and parks.
General filth from human consumption and inconsideration floods the river's edge. It scatters across every street, avenue and woodland like over-sized, dull, plastic Christmas lights clinging to the Earth's eves.
For a small village, we sure have created a cesspool.
So believe me when I say I will not be staying in my hometown. I'll come back to visit those I've lost because either their only option is to stay or they're content with what home means to them.
Still, I'll be nostalgic as I reminisce upon happier re-imaginings of times past, but I won't let my roots be drawn to the soil's virulence.
Although it is foolish to believe these issues remain only in the confinement of my small community, I still have the strong hope that somewhere there is a place with more to offer.
A world that isn't so bland.
If I ever did end up coming back, it'd be because I finally learned the skills it takes to improve my slummy little home.
Maybe I could make it more appealing to the next generation of angsty teens who won't have to be laid to waste at the hands of their environment, like so many others I have known.
Perhaps home is just a state of mind, that I couldn't begin to tell you.