I call the long sandwiches with many meats grinders.
I call the little ant-like toppings for ice cream shots.
I call the fizzy brown stuff Coke (even when it isn't).
I call that event wherein I put all my junk in the front yard and sell it a tag sale.
I call the shoes I wear while exercising sneakers.
I call the place where I buy (a lot of) alcohol the package store.
I call getting there a packy run.
I measure distance in the time it takes to arrive.
I am a child of Connecticut, that expensive, boring state that separates New York City from Boston. It's a nice place to visit your grandparents, but you wouldn't want to live there. It's got some cities, some country, and a lot of suburbs. It has the "highest per capita income" in the country, but all the big heads are down Fairfield County way. We pay for it up here, though, on the eastern side--where the United States Supreme Court decided a house is not your home; where the mills shut down years ago; where the remaining factory makes potato chips in the enormous Fry-Daddy that is my town.
It is important to me to infuse my writing with a sense of place, though Connecticut often loses me. In the South, voices are alternatingly lilting and thick with the heat of history. The West Coast writers are on the edge, pushing discovery and polished individuality. In the big cities across the country, fast-paced talents take leaps that make you hold your breath in anticipation of the landing.
But here...I don't know. We watch the network news and think the anchors sound just like us. We think they could be us. Watching, reporting. Telling the truth as it was always meant to be told. Sometimes I think we lack passion. We lack kindness. Sometimes I think there are no stories behind our facts. We are stony New Englanders removed from the hot center.
Connecticut is where I come from, like it or not. Even if I move away, my tone is set.