Slush Pile

by Rob Vogt

There’s a reason they’re called flyover states. If you live in this region full of cornfields and denim and white people, in one of those little pink houses  made of ticky-tacky, do us both a favor and don’t try to write anything of consequence. Lord knows (dig the folksy language!) we would have to pass.

No one on the East Coast wants to read about your first kiss, or the erection so intense it made your molars ache.

No one on the West Coast wants to read about that bushy-haired skateboarding student of yours, the one who hanged himself in his parents’ basement the summer after freshman year, or the quiet moments you spend in your recliner, half-listening to the 10:00 news and wondering if you should have seen it coming.

And no one at all wants to read about the preamble to a Middle America thunderstorm, the way the air feels pregnant and smells of taffy. The way the temperature drops slowly and seductively until a thunderclap sends dollops of water tumbling from the sky, freezing and wet and delicious. The way those dollops ultimately turn into needles that chase shrieking children indoors and sun-scorched day laborers to the nearest tavern. No one wants to hear about the wide-eyed children babbling to their parents, or the laborers jamming lime wedges into bottles of beer as they gather around the bar and listen to the rain hammer the roof above their heads.

About the Author

Rob Vogt teaches high school English on Chicago's South Side.