I walk the streets of Rockford daily. This early evening I discovered I was out of milk and had to walk to the next block where there's a small shop that sells such things. On the way I have to pass the bus stop and a small sitting area where the elderly and disabled from the Faust across the street often sit to pass the time. This evening two rather large black gentlemen were standing there waiting for the bus. Unlike a lot of people, I rarely walk in fear. I wasn't this time, but as I approached I didn't know if I had anything to say to them. They took care of that. The first man said "How you doin'?" I said "Fine. And you?" He similarly affirmed he was doing fine. The second man said "How you doin'?" I said "Fine, thank you. How are you doin' tonight?" He said he was fine, too. And that's how I got to the locally owned convenience store.
A few weeks ago a new Gallup study concluded Rockford, Illinois is now America's angriest city, supplanting Longview, Texas.
Ironically, I was in Longview just last year. I decided not to get off the train I was riding when the conductor said the following: "You can go ahead and get off here in Longview, Texas and stretch your legs and have a smoke, but don't get too comfortable because I'll leave you here. I know, I've seen me do it."
I didn't get out of my compartment at Longview. They might have been really angry out there, I don't know.
People in Rockford are angry. I won't deny that. I'm one of them. But typically I'm just angry because it seems like the thing to do around here. The buildings are falling down, no one has a job, crime is awful, and the best anyone can seem to do as far as solving the problem is print up a bunch of smart-ass Tshirts making fun of those who are just reporting the news.
I don't have a solution, either. I feel like if people are angry here they're perceiving reality correctly because it's a place where you can get very angry if you're paying attention.
Someday I'll probably go from here. Most people with any sense do.
Maybe I'll move to Longview, Texas. I hear it's nice there.