What are stickers?

I just had a discussion with my fellow IT workers, and I just dropped a southernism they don't recognize. I stopped to think about it for a second or two, and realized that I don't know the 'real' name for what I'm describing.

Growing up in Arkansas, we were careful about where in the yard we went barefoot, because there was a certain type of grass we called 'stickers.' It was grass, but it has small but definite thornlike parts, and they stuck in your skin (thus the name) and made it very uncomfortable to walk barefoot on grass.

it's never what you think

"Well, I think about friends in the back of my mind
Are they still just kids frozen in time
The mirror won't lie as the days fly by
Are they all no better off than I?"
—Sugarbomb, "What a Drag"

whispers in the oaks

I think it unlikely that I will post a public chronicle of my days spent in Arkansas, for reasons that are abundantly clear in the private entry posted directly before this one, but there is one story that I wanted to tell. It was not for what I did, but for what I chose not to do.The dead cross daily with the living in Tull; it is a place in which your memories and your past confront you even during the smallest of errands.

a river's width

There aren't many ways to get there from here. It's easy to underestimate the power of the Mississippi River until you realize that there are only four roads that cross Arkansas' eastern border. That's correct: four, for the entire state. Memphis holds two; the northern I-40 bridge and the southern I-55 bridge. Your next chance is a good bit farther south, in Helena, and your final opportunity lies at the southeastern corner of the state near Lake Chicot.

(We won't count the railroad-only bridge in Memphis, which technically makes five.)

scale error

Truth is, I haven't let myself think about it much. Three hundred and eighty-five miles is nothing when compared to the scale of a planet, but it's a planet when compared to the scale of a life. While putting together my breakfast this morning I asked myself what the hell, exactly, I thought I was doing, planning on returning to the town of my birth. What do I hope to see? What do I hope to accomplish?

I'm not sure.

remember two things

I wondered where I'd be. I got the answer tonight; an answer that was nearly four years in coming. As usual, the answer wasn't what I expected.

It was less.

It was more.