Gary Rinsem

Holbrook, America's Most Depressing Town

The urge to compose a poem overcame me while awaiting a tryst with a woman I'd just met. The poem "Most depressing town" didn't materialize. It was replaced by a poem inspired by the woman.

"Oasis" sprung to life in an instant. In a panic I wrote it, fearful of loss as I'd done with many before. The poem "Oasis" is prefaced below with lines of my search for "America's Most Depressing Town." Many times I tried and failed to write it. It's a great idea of a poem, describing depression in a series of subtle events. I smile at the memory of my failure, because I never felt or understood depression.

Holbrook, America's Most Depressing Town. Goal: define depression in a sequence of events. What transpires in a depressing town? Who knows, but those who live the life. An outsider has only a brief glimpse of things he cannot understand. The place of meeting, was discrete-ing. Anyone there could plainly see what was occurring. Not a word spoken. They have their own secrets to keep. She was wearing a wedding ring. Upon her return, she was not. Me thinks me knows the meaning of this. Highly intelligent, and a thinker too. She's seen too little of me, as of yet. I've not made my impression or she would know, I too think. Upon the Earth they perch Oasis in the lost I search Thoughtless stare Zombie of apocalypse there Body snatched people snear Aliens afar incubate here With purpose blown And thought unknown Childhood's joy Became their ploy Logic found In the mind of a clown Doing the worst Is their joy first Their only mind Perpetuate their kind Oasis in the lost Is where I perch by Aufull Rhime 1979
Days later I added to the journal, certain I would keep Oasis and thinking the background would be nice to save...
I saw her there, from one customer table to another, bouncing round like a jellyfish in the tide, she only tried to make a buck in America's most depressing town. My two thoughts, why does she stay and is she horny? She knew I was eyeing her, and I suspected she was eyeing me. It took a long time for her to jellyfish her way to me. I knew by then she was appraising me, by my every nuance. When finally she had a firm impression she approached and spoke "I can see from a distance that you're not lost. Nearly everyone is." With an opening like that she conveyed all she needed. It was now up to me to prove myself in the face of her revelation. I only smiled. It was enough, it was the right kind of smile or she was exceptionally horny. Janelle accepted my silent reply as an intellectual response, rather than dimwitted. Her acceptance was the result of her firm impression as much as it was the result of my smile. Returning to my table a few times, the conversation was polite and pointless. Too many ears nearby. I was advised to order nothing. That's advice I'll not ignore from a waitress. Uncomfortable sitting without ordering, and after being advised that she would be off work in two hours, I agreed to return on the premise that I'd give her a ride home in the cold. Her missing wedding ring left no doubt about the meaning behind a ride home, yet I still long for the woman who makes no pretense. I like direct-ness instead. Jumping into the truck Janelle asked "What did you do?" While reaching behind me into the sleeper on the truck, I pulled out a notebook and said "I wrote a poem..." An odd look overcame her, with head tilted a bit she appeared confused. I presented the notebook open to the poem I'd written, and finished "you inspired me." Reading the poem her smile grew wide as she spoke "I perch there too." My only response "I know." The home of a friend was her destination. The door was answered by a large Navajo woman. Her hand motion invited us in. Unspoken, half a smirk and half a smile said she understood the intent. Her words spoke volumes in hidden meaning... "I'm busy in the kitchen, make yourselves comfortable." Unspoken yet clearly true, Janelle had been here before. She was at home in the guest bedroom. Hours later we left with no sign of Janelle's friend, must have gone to bed. A week passed when I found a note on my truck in the parking lot at the power plant. It only said "You should try bowling." The bowling alley is the most depressing place in the most depressing town, but the parking lot is far too cold to wait. A dilemma solved... don't be early.
It's February 2022 as I include this memory in my online journal. I've become fond of searching Google Earth and Google Maps to revisit places I hold dear. The A&W is now located inside a gas station, in the most depressing town. A fun thing to note... I was driving a new green 1979 Ford truck back then. In the 2021 picture there is a brown 1979 ford truck in the Taco Bell parking lot. A few things saved here, from today's exploration... P and M Lanes 291 N 12th Ave Holbrook, AZ 86025

Google Street View of the bowling alley

Google Earth view of the bowling alley