“The Rural Community” by James Davenport

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The Rural Community

By James Davenport

A population of less than three-thousand, forty minutes from anything resembling a Wal-Mart, controlled by the remnant dust of blue prison guards and red miners, patrolled by screaming Ford pickups and police cars (modeled after 1995’s edition from lack of cash or because it was just a good year), small Montanan settlements yield varied flavor. Acting as a nucleus, the rural community center encourages the citizens of its electron field to radiate.

The building always seemed brighter than normal when a blood drive chose to nest. Arms and eyes would ache, but it felt good. Partially because you knew you were improving collective karma. (at least that’s what they tell you) and partially because there were free sandwiches at five o’clock. All patients centered on egg salad, bubbling blood bags in their periphery. Accommodation of reward, the rural community center has universally pleasing exchange for blood, sweat, sometimes even tears.

Bloody Blood Orgy was the name of the opening act. A Christian Death Metal band from Helena, their angry caws echoed throughout the yellowed chamber (I imagine it formally white, though the cause of distortion is not something I enjoy consideration of) . At one point, after the first act, their lead singer was seen, a troubled youth under each arm, both female (and utterly excited about the presence of his goatee), exiting the back door of the rural community center. I imagine that some form of a “Come to Jesus” meeting took place shortly after. Appealing to the exclusive, yet culturally diverse, the rural community center has no prejudices, holding everyone high, like a winner of some simple contest (in which my case the prize would consist of cheap DVDs).

Bingo night at the rural community center remains a mystery. The building is windowless and old people only talk about things outside themselves. This is also why I’m scared of old people (and how they eat peaches, though I’ve never seen it happen.

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