Nonfiction Excerpt

Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse

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I’m taking a nonfiction class this semester, and this is an excerpt from my first graded assignment about the town I grew up in and where I still currently reside. It’s titled, “Carmeltucky: Like Kentucky but Worse”

One Thursday afternoon after school my mom reminded me of the fact that Goodwill was supposed to pick up garbage bags full of clothing donations, and she sent me to our front porch to see if they had made their journey down our driveway and seized our bags in the same manner a pigeon would a french fry: swoop in and leave with it immediately. I checked the porch only to see that the bags were still there, piled on top of each other like nesting bowls. I told my mom and she opened her address book to find their number.

She tucked the phone between her shoulder and ear. “You didn’t pick up my donations!” she exclaimed, followed by “I live in Carmel.” She stood there in silence as the person on the other end spoke.

When she hung up the phone I asked, “what happened?”

“They said they picked up our donations,” she said, staring at me, her face washed blank with confusion. But there was a moment when her confusion turned to shock, completely cadaver-like, simply lifeless and pale. “Oh my god. Goodwill took our garbage.”

I imagined the workers ripping open the bags of putrescible waste masquerading as clothing. Fermenting liquids warmed up from the morning sun amid banana peels, cat litter, curdled milk. Every time someone would enter the area they’d be gunned down by waves of nauseating stink, acrid smells. They’d curse, maybe search the surrounding donations for a gas mask. Our local Goodwill no longer accepts our donations.

With love, Alyssa

*Featured Image was taken from my living room on a rainy day, and is of the park built behind my house