The Universal American Cry

Ava Martinez

“The Universal American Cry”

“God Meghan, another drug bust. I hate this place.”

“Could be worse, my cousin lives in Detroit…” 

“God, my brother’s back in the game, we can’t sell the house to move to a better area, we can’t DO anything! I swear, I’m just gonna run away.”

“Jovante, if you’re serious, I have family in Toledo…”

“God, Toledo is so flat! I can’t wait for college. I’m going to South Carolina…”

“God, do you ever just get tired of the beach?”

“Yeah, it’s so overrated. Can’t wait to get the hell out of Charleston.”

“Where to then?”

“I’ve got family in Nebraska…”

“God, if I see another cow I’m going to scream. I’m nose-dead to the smell of manure, just like everyone else here. I don’t want to be nosedead to the smell of manure! I want to be in…”

As they all bemoan their current location, little do they know they are not alone. Across the nation, a universal cry floats up from the young and the old alike: “Let’s get out of here.” Here. Here, that infinitesimal, fleeting preposition. Here, the gum on the shoe of so many. Away from here. Is there anything more American? To crave that feeling, the twilight feeling of the chase. The chase of here. Here will always chase you there, and that moment when there morphs into here is the brewing of another pot of coffee at the diner. It is unavoidable, necessary in a beauteous way, but never the less, the gum on the shoe of so many.