The grass grew slowly here

The grass grew slowly here, popping out of the ground already browned from the heat of the sun. There were fields of dry land everywhere you looked, lining every dirt road you could rumble over in your pickup truck, framing every run down house for miles, and crawling over the endless abandoned farm land. But the one place you could bank on never seeing a stray sprout of anything but perfection was the high school football field. It had taken them years to build the stadium, agonizing over each row of the stainless steel bleachers and each speck of turf that took its place on the floor. It was ironic really, considering the fact that the pure purpose of the field was to be abused by aggressive teenage boys. That was the dream though, to be one of those bodies filling the sweat covered and dirt stained nylon uniforms. And the children of the static town were never allowed to forget it.


From a young age, the dream was planted in their minds after being packed into the bed of the family pick up truck, full of blankets and barbeque for the tailgate, as they winded down the dirt roads towards the stadium. And upon arrival they would scramble out, knocking over endless condiments in the process, as their dirt coated bare feet padded over the dried grass. There were over a hundred of them, it seemed as all the little boys formed their own premature game of football to pass the time before the real fun started. You could see it in their eyes; the aching hunger to follow in the footsteps of their older brothers, cousins, fathers, and even grandfather’s. With each pass that flew from the spindly fingers of the chosen pseudo quarterback for that day, the children fell into step with the rest of the town. Building themselves around something that was for sure to never fall, or so they thought. As the adults gathered around the growing peewee game, their faces contorted into eyebrow raises while they shared knowing glances, whispering and pointing. Already, these boys had no chance. No chance to escape the future that had been laid out for them, the one in which they were forced to carry on the legacy of the otherwise good-for-nothing town.


And slowly, the large crowd dwindled down to a couple of stragglers and empty beer cans strewn around the pick up trucks that were parked scattering the field. That was when the roar of the crowd began, and really it wasn’t even a crowd; it was the town, the entire *** town. All the stores and restaurants boarded up reading, “gone to game,” in red block letters, just as if you squinted hard enough you could see a dust bunny make its way down the main boulevard.


It wasn’t much of a town to begin with, but on Friday nights, there was no town besides the football field. The only witness to the blinding lights and the enormous roars of the crowd was the darkening sky that twinkled above the town that some would call blessed.


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