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Small Town Dreams

15 pages13 minutes


Then, into my high school world comes Margo. Margo is from some far distant place where they apparently teach advanced things like reading without moving the lips, reading books with more words than pictures, stuff like that. Margo can actually carry on a meaningful conversation, often using words of two syllables or even more. (The usual conversational repertoire of the Cowflop girls consists of things like “Whatrwegonnado?” or “Yuh starin' at muh tits again.”) Enchanté!
Margo initially isn't too pleased to meet me.
I ask politely, “Is it because of my rumored predilection toward violence?”
Margo says, “Ummm, well there seems to be a local consensus that you do tend to rely upon force rather than negotiation.”
I finally manage to convince Margo that my reputation is undeserved and that she and I can attend certain high school social functions and complete our social obligations with minimal disruption in our personal lives.
Over our time in high school, I come to realize that Margo's bright shining dream is to leave Cowflop forever. Since I have the same bright shining dream, it would seem that we could become a pair, perhaps permanently.
However, I'm poor as a church mouse and Margo comes from an upper middle class home. Also, I like the intellectual Margo, but her appearance is frankly a bit plain Jane for my taste.
I'm a year ahead of Margo in school and it would appear that I'll depart, at least after junior college, and Margo and I will never see each other again. It's sad, but nothing must interfere with my shining dream of escaping from Cowflop.
In the course of time, I graduate from Cowflop High School. I ace the SAT and the ACT. However, the only scholarship offers that I get cover only books and tuition. Such luxuries as room and board I'm to provide from the income from my family's vast estates, don't cha know?
Thus, I go to Cowflop Junior College and live at home, whee my parents provide me with the necessities of life. While I'm attending Cowflop JC, I study damn near non-stop. I have to ace the classes so that I can get a real scholarship to a four year school in order to get the degree that I need to earn a decent living and leave Cowflop forever.
I don't see a lot of Margo, who's in pursuit of her own scholarship. She wants to go away to a fancy four year school and she needs a scholarship to meet her goals.
Margo and I do write to one another fairly frequently. I sort of sense that we like each other, but we are each really looking for something a bit better than the other.
After two years of JC, I take a very difficult test and win enough of a scholarship to New Mexico State that my parents can fill in the rest of the required financial investment.
I take the bus to Las Cruces. Yes, Las Cruces, the shining beacon of hope that lured me onward through my difficult times and tribulations in Cowflop.
When I get to Las Cruces, I discover that there are three suicide clinics on the main street of Las Cruces. Over time, I discover that they probably need more than just the three suicide clinics.
Okay, New Mexico State is primarily an agricultural school, but they do also have majors in Computer Science and Aerospace Engineering.
I study hard and take the classes I need. Actually, I do little but study. It's not too difficult to stay focused as exotic, glamorous Las Cruces is very much like Cowflop. (I again have no evidence or proof, but I'm damn glad I'm not a sheep in Las Cruces.) Actually, things are really not all that bad. There's a Mexican restaurant in Las Cruces that does require shirt and shoes for service.
My schoolwork at New Mexico State is actually very interesting. They not only have regular classes, but also do some outside funded projects that have real world value.
My parents do help a bit with financial support, but they have very little money and what little they can provide for me goes for absolute necessities.

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