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cremisius:

pacific northwestern gothic:

  • you drive an eco-friendly car and you recycle, but you leave the lights on all night, just in case. 
  • you find yourself lost in an endless sea of coffee shops, unable to tell corners apart, trapped in a tightly woven web of independently owned shops next to smaller chains, kiosks in every open place they can be wedged. you lose time, lose sleep, and in your delirium, you fill another punch card, redeem your free latte, and continue your fruitless search for a way out.
  • there’s a new starbucks down the street. there’s always a new starbucks down the street. 
  • no one’s ever heard of your favorite band, because they don’t exist. you could’ve sworn they did, you had all their records – real records, on vinyl, you’re a collector – just last week, but they’re gone now. you try telling a friend to look them up, but you find yourself unable to remember their name. 
  • on sunny days, you feel ill at ease. some things should not be seen in such clear light. your eyes are not adjusted to such brightness.
  • children on a field trip watch the salmon run, their flesh deteriorating from their living bodies as they beat themselves against rocks in a macabre last battle upstream to lay their eggs where they first hatched. the children watch for hours in the cold as the fish, some almost as big as they are, fight to reach their spawning grounds before their bodies fail and fall to pieces. on the bus ride home, they laugh as if they had seen nothing. 
  • your neighbors, your friends, even you, discuss proudly how progressive and open-minded you are, how different this place is from the rest of america – as they decline, we shake our heads, grateful to live in such a liberal utopia. here, things are greener. here, people are kinder. we don’t have dark secrets. you smile, because the state history curriculum doesn’t talk about the laws that stayed on book for far longer than we care to admit. you laugh, blissful in ignorance, or in avoidance, of the fact that we are no better, no brighter, than anywhere else. 
  • you’re tell yourself you’re a good person, who doesn’t judge on appearances. you applaud yourself for your open-mindedness. there must be another reason you feel so disquieted when someone who looks too different from you gets too close to you in public.
  • mount st. helens begins to smoke. something stirs at the bottom of crater lake. there’s a wailing sound coming from behind multnomah falls. 
  • a friend mentions that they’ve been hiking a lot lately, and you say you’d love to get out there more, it’s just hard to find the time. the truth is, you’ll never forget what you saw out there, in that deep part of the woods, at twilight, having long lost the trail. 
  • there’s a flavor you just can’t place in the newest limited edition holiday ale from your favorite microbrewery. you buy another six pack, and drink until you can’t taste it anymore.
  • you laugh at the religious, but some part of you wonders if it would be easier to sleep at night, believing something, anything, was looking out for you.

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