Solace in Bugs

I was visiting my family in Virginia a few weeks ago, and really thought it would be a forgettable, averagely enjoyable trip. The late night bus I took from New York was uncomfortable. The bathroom I shared with my two siblings when the three of us lived at home was messy. Our family dog Bear had more trouble getting up and down our front porch steps than I remembered. All of these were normal, expected home-visit realities. Everything was as it had been on every other visit.

I was sinking into the usual couch-and-tv-induced lazy haze on my last night home, watching a movie with my mom and sister. For some reason, the couch at your home, regardless if it’s a nice couch or not, is the quickest quicksand when it comes to sucking you into an unexpected bout of hours-long lounging. Maybe it’s the familiar pheromones gripping your body and reminding it that you’re safe here, safer than anywhere else. It’s a sensation that triggers a refreshing release of the armor I feel like I wear everyday in New York.

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Back on Mountain Time

Back on Mountain Time is Mary Miles’ first piece for Cult of Americana

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have had a time change. Local time is 8:46am. I repeat: 8:46am Mountain Time.”

Mountain Time. I breathe in and settle back in my seat as the Southwest Chief draws toward the station at Gallup, New Mexico. I have about another eight hours to my destination in the far northeastern corner of the state, but it feels good to be back in this time zone. It means I’m getting close. The buildings we crawl past appear to be frozen in time. “Hotel El Rancho” boasts “Charm Of Yesterday – Convenience Of Tomorrow,” while the Best Western down the street seems to have missed at least the last five logo updates. The little adobe-style buildings labeled as pawn shops, trading posts, or all-you-need ammunition stores feel somewhat surreal, though that’s hardly a surprise for a lady from the northeast who flew in from Germany less than three days ago.

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