About a Man Named Adam
There is Mrs. Jenkins, running the local gas station. It belonged to her husband who opened it back in the fifties. Mr. Jenkins was a veteran. He had a bad war. He was among those who liberated a concentration camp in Poland. He never really recovered from it. He only ever spoke of it once when he was drunk in the bar. Those of us who were there will never forget the anguish on his face as he spoke about the diseased bodies, the crematoriums that were still smoking, and the bodies--all the poor souls murdered and dumped in the pits like they were garbage. Mr. Jenkins died of cancer five years ago. Mrs. Jenkins and their son keep the store in his honor. The American flag hanging proudly in front of the store was one that was brought home from the War. Mrs. Jenkins has repaired it so many times, you can see the ages of the patchwork. When she dies, the flag will go with her to be laid across her husband's casket in the family mausoleum. Kinda nice, I think.
Across the street is Old Man Granger sitting outside his barber shop. He really isn't old, people just call him that since his hair is grey and he looks a bit rough. He had a tough war as well. He was in Vietnam when a little girl walked out in the crossfire between the Viet Cong and the US. He rushed in to save her. There was only a moment, when the shouts and gunfire stopped, when the little girl, no more than five, turned to face him. She was terrified. Her eyes met hers a fraction of a second before he noticed the vest around her. He didn't have time to react before her body exploded and covered him with bone and sinew. He was married at one point, but after an episode--one where she was hurt-- she took the kids and left. He was okay with it. He sends money and writes to her. She has forgiven him, but he thought it best she stayed away.
There is the bookstore ran by Mrs. Forney. The Laundromat owned by Mr. Victor. I still don't know what his last name it. The Post Office, the Police station, the bank, the Five and Dime store, the small theater...all of it the same. Cherry Blossom trees line the street. The local park is full of young mothers chattering away as their children play on the swings and jungle gym. Fishermen line the creek that winds through the park, hoping for a good catch. As I walk down Main Street, I see children riding their bikes, whooping and hollering and they zoom by. I can hear the cheerleaders shouting as they practice. I am new, but everyone smiles and everyone waves. It is very idyllic. Everything moves slowly and people take their time here. Small Town USA. Everyone is happy and pleasant.
I have had many names over the centuries, but I always come back to Adam. It is easy and unassuming. Many people think the name Adam is nice because it is in the Bible, which I find hilarious. Maybe that is the reason I use it. I am a fan of irony. In a month from now, this town will be gone and I will choose another name. Fire and brimstone, smoke and blackness, call to me like a Siren. One by one they will come to me. Lust and sex, pain mixed with pleasure, fear and panic are my life force.
Mrs. Johnston waves and says hello. She is young and newly married. We make small talk and then she goes about her day. It has been too long since my last feast.
I am hungry. So very, very hungry.