There are two stoplights in my hometown. Both are for the same intersection next to the local grocery store, Russell’s. Arnaudville is made up of an elementary school, a Catholic church, a cemetery, and, of course, Russell’s.

The cemetery is one of the most notable parts of the whole town. It’s right across the street from St. Francis Regis Catholic Church, and there are probably more people in the cemetery than in the town. Almost all of the graves are above ground except for the ones in the mausoleum. My grandparents and a few of my relatives are buried there.

Russell’s is the town’s small talk and gossip hub. You go in there thinking that you’ll just go in there to get milk and eggs and leave, but you actually end up running into at bunch of people that you know and leaving an hour later than you wanted. It usually goes something like this:

“Mais, cher, how you doin’? Ça va?”

“Ça va bien, et tu?”

“Good, good.”

“Well I haven’t seen you in so long I almost didn’t recognize you. How are the kids?”

The conversation goes on an on about family happenings and how busy they’ve been. Sometimes the conversation turns:

“You heard who died the other day?”

Everybody knows everybody in a small town.


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