Stolen Figgs

Pleasant Grove, a community in the southeast outskirts of Dallas, Texas, was not a nice neighborhood when keyboardist Elliot Figg was growing up in the eighties and nineties. He and his big family lived there for much of his childhood, neighbors with a diverse, blue-collar bunch. Petty crime was a normalcy and thefts were common in Pleasant Grove, according to Figg. He now performs, conducts and writes music in New York.

This isn’t to say Figg’s youth was totally saturated with the crimes of Pleasant Grove. There were tranquil refuges in nature and in music. Woods behind his home were often explored, fond details of them remembered decades later. At a cafe on the Upper West Side in New York city he and I go back and forth sharing cherished memories of our respective childhood forest romps—forts, good climbing trees, enchanting hollowed stumps.

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Tonight-is-Friday-September-1st

Tonight-is-Friday-September-1st is Anna Klos’ first piece for Cult of Americana

Tonight is Friday, September 1, 2017. I was followed home from my usual walk from the California Blue Line L station almost all the way to my house. On the L ride home, this stranger had pestered me with normal street harassment questions like “Hey, what’s your name?” and “Do you have a boyfriend?” and “Why aren’t you talking to me? You don’t even want to get to know me?” as if I owed it to him to give him the time of day which, at that point, was 1:30am and that made everything about 10 times creepier than the normal occasional heckle I get at 4:30pm commuting in to work.

I was a block from my house when he caught up to me. I was walking quickly and I assumed he was just some person walking home too, until I heard his feet speed up. Have you heard that sound before and felt your heart speed up way too fast? Your step gets quicker, almost as if you’re about to start sprinting at any second. You can feel the energy of the other person behind you, like a terrifying heat that sends prickles flashing in waves all over your skin.

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