A recurring selection of memoirs, short stories, and poetry chronicling one Southerner’s experiences in the Ol’ North.

by Autumn Tallant

March 14. Sustainable Southerness.

“What is it like? Bein’ a lonely ole Southerner up th-ar with all them Yanks?”

Gender equality? Irrelevant for this conversation, but where it all began. Sip- sip- sip- drip- my coffee just splattered along the rough, carved-with-that-other-kid’s-pocket-knife desk that I have settled cozily into. Today is our gender equality presentation isn’t it? Sustainable development is one of the more- Oh- provocative- isn’t it? Diesel and smoke as a sign of toxic masculinity. A tangible but quiet cackle among all those audience members that own such a truck- knowing damn well they are the epitome- the archetype. The production of a comment from the audience-
“Essentially, only Southerners need those trucks. Mostly for all of their farm work.”

I am drawing a blank. When was the last time I saw one of those diesel “work” trucks? Ah- in Bloomingdale the other night. Blew smoke so high, crows could’ve choked on it.