Where We Were When the Fog Rolled In

When the fog rolled in, I was a mere boy. And though it was years ago, I remember it clear as day.

Well, as clear as any day before that one day that the fog rolled in, of course.

Seven years later, the fog remains – as do the memories of that fateful, foreboding day. On days like today, when the fog is especially dense, we all grope our way to the center of town to reminisce about where we were when the fog rolled in.

rolling fogPa was out in the fields, rewarding the scarecrow for a job well done with a handful of new hay, a fresh slice of pie and his weekly $100 paycheck. Sadly, it would be the last paycheck the old scarecrow would ever receive from us – we had to let him go on account of the fog.

Ma was in the backyard, hanging wet clothes on the line. Course, with no sun to speak of, to this very day those clothes hang as damp as the armpits of Reverend Stacks on a hot Sunday morning. Probably don’t matter, though. No one bothers much with wearing clothes anymore, on account of the fog.

Lenny was out searching for firewood. Because of the fog, he never could get a big enough flame to burn down that old general store. Suppose it doesn’t matter though, his ex-wife don’t work there anymore. No one does. You know, on account of the fog.

Lyle and his friends were down by the creek playing hide and seek. I reckon he may be the only one among us who doesn’t curse the fog near once a day. After all, he must have scored the world-record time for not being “seeked” years ago. The assist? Well that would go to the fog.

Kimmy Lee and Earl were at Doc Warren’s giving birth to their first-born. If the fog had rolled in ten minutes later, maybe they’d know by now if young Earl Jr. was a boy or not.

Old Ben was out on the docks, staring stoically at the water and reminiscing about his army days. Unfortunately, even a man who killed 12 men with a rusty bayonet doesn’t have any idea of how to kill an all-encompassing fog. Course, that doesn’t stop Old Ben from stabbing blindly into the haze every so often, hoping he’ll get lucky.

Tammy Mae was out with the mule tilling the soil. They’re married now.

Can we blame such an unholy union on the fog? I don’t know. But we do.

And as for me? Why I remember it distinctly. I was sitting in the porch rocking chair with the barn cat in my lap looking out at the horizon, and praying to God that some sort of miracle would come along and get me out of folding all those wet clothes drying out there on the line. Did my prayer have anything to do with the fog? Maybe. Should I have specified that the miracle only had to last until my bedtime and my ma would have probably folded the clothes after that? Probably.

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