My Town in Troubled Times

In Monte Vista, if you call to make an appointment for your dog to see the vet, it might not get entered into the computer. Then — by pure coincidence — you get an email from your vet saying aforementioned dog needs her shots. You see a word is spelled wrong (“where masks”). It’s a funny mistake, but you think they should fix it, so you answer it correcting the spelling and asking if you can get the dogs’ shots during her exam tomorrow. They will call you back to straighten out a problem you didn’t even know about — the appointment not being in the computer.

You will talk for 10 minutes about the dog’s correct breed, about the shots she needs, about the the appointment missing in the computer, about which leg is making her limp, about what it might be, about the spelling error and how fraught with confusion is the English language. The subject of masks will come up and you explain that you wear one because you’re old and have asthma. The person on the phone says he doesn’t because he’s stubborn. “I should I know I should,” he says.

Then you get off the phone and realize that in these times, when you’re mostly by yourself, you miss out on a lot of the sweet idiosyncrasies you love about your town and once more you’re really glad you live here.

Then you saddle up your Jeep and drive past blossoming potatoes and barley making waves in the wind to City Market where you pick up your groceries. The girl who brings them to you is genuinely sorry they don’t have exactly what you want, but, “We’re really busy today. The 4th, I guess.”

“It’s OK,” you say. “I don’t care all that much. I’m sure you did fine.” And it’s true. Sometimes the substitutions are better than the stuff you ordered. “Have a good 4th,” you say.

“You as well,” she says, “Stay safe.”

You come home. The weekly paper is in the mailbox. You learn the new police chief had organized a march last week, a “Walk of Unity” which was:

“MONTE VISTA – Monday, June 28, Monte Vista residents and members of the police department participated in a “Walk of Unity.” The walk was designed to demonstrate to others that we can stand together as one and not as a protest against anything. Chief of Police of Monte Vista, George Dingfelder, participated as well as Officers Dylan Golden, Michael Martinez and David Pino. Participants of the walk said that it demonstrated that no matter what we believe, our employment, our titles, who we vote for, the pigmentation of our skin, LBGTQ or heterosexual…we can stand together as one…together for the greater good of humanity and not create further division between neighbors. It’s our community and we will stand united with all of our brothers and sisters.”

And that is exactly what you have figured out on your own these past few days looking clearly at the differences in beliefs and experiences between you and the people around you. “We’re the same people we were before,” you think, followed by, “and I’m learning all the time. I am sure we all are.”

3 thoughts on “My Town in Troubled Times

  1. Saddle up the jeep! That sounds like a very interesting exercise, the kind I wouldn’t mind seeing a video of.

    About spellings, I realize these days that my mind thinks of one word and my fingers type out a homonym. I hope this isn’t some early onset degenerative neurological condition which has a longer name than absentmindedness.

    • My fingers type out homonyms, too. And spell check anticipates the word I’m going to type and types some pretty strange stuff sometimes. IT has a neurological problem with a long name…

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