There’s a place southeast from where I dwell these days. A village that I never heard of before. It suddenly appeared in front of me as I was navigating toward a final destination of one of my latest journeys. Ever since the pandemic started these journeys have been limited to a fairly small area that surrounds me, however, while I could see this a severe deterrent (and for a couple of months I definitely did) I actually discovered that there are still numerous places I have yet to discover that hide pretty much in my backyard.
Anyway, while I never heard this village before I definitely encountered it plenty of times in my life. It’s funny how I at first didn’t even register it. I cruised past a sign that carries its name and then a few moments later found coming to a screeching stop, followed by executing the fastest u-turn ever!
Its name was Drama!!!
I instantly loved it. I pulled over right next to the sign. Stepped out. Slammed the car door as if possessed by, uhm, well… drama! Walked up to it and just stared at it. Drama. Isn’t that the coolest name of a settlement ever?! Of course I wanted to know how did this tiny village get its name? What is the impact the name has on the inhabitants? In my mind I imagined that everyone that lives there must be a writer. Should I move here?! Perhaps if I do my writing bone will be excavated from the depth of my forgotten dreams and aspirations. Fingers crossed!
As I was fantasizing a whole new universe that would soon become my new home an alien sound started to pierce through my daydreams. Faint at first, it started to grow louder. Sound that I soon recognized. Not an alien sound at all. Though I was also thinking that it wouldn’t be at all that weird if it did come from an alien. I mean, if anywhere, aliens definitely would pick a place called Drama to live in. Made sense to me. Well, it wasn’t an alien. It was actually a series of screams. Human screams.
Screams?! Who? What? Where? Why? I turned around and quickly identified the source: an elderly gentleman that was making his way towards me as swiftly as he could. Is that a pitchfork in his hand?! It fucking is! This will be interesting. After all I’m literally standing in DRAMA!
He came over. His face flushed red. Sweat dripping. When he came to a full stop, he slammed his pitchwork into the ground, leaned on it and took a few very dramatic breaths. His screams abandoned him awhile ago. Perhaps due to his difficulty with syncing breathing and swift physical movement. Or he figured that his barely recognizable gibberish is not making much sense to me from a far. Hopefully I will find out in the next minute or so.
We both stood there. Him recollecting himself from a formidable trek that took him through a long blooming meadow. Myself eagerly awaiting what follows next.
Our eyes locked to each other. Each moment that passed seemed like an eternity. I truly wonder what will happen next. Though he was holding, actually more like grabbing and leaning heavily, on to his pitchfork I didn’t anticipate an attack. No way there’s any strength left in him to do that. Wait! Am I being arrogant here? Or just a belittling asshole? Arrogant asshole? Yeah, the latter sounds about right. But then again we are standing in Drama so an attack would be quite fitting. I better keep my guard up. I subtly dipped my knees a bit to create a little bit of tension in my lower limbs. To spring backwards or sideways in case of the attack. Maybe I should spring forward to limit his chance of swinging the pitchfork. Shit! My left sneaker feels loose. What if my shoelace is untied? What if I trip myself if lunge forward? OK. Sideways or backwards it is! I feel my ego swelling with pride for tackling the shoelace problem so swiftly. Maybe I should be proactive and attack first! Wait! Is this the arrogant asshole within me taking charge?! Also, this gentleman looks roughly two decades older than me. Isn’t there a rule against hitting people that are this much older?! It must be. Striking the charge first plan. Tensions definitely are running high. Drama!
Uh. Uh. His lips are starting to move. A word, no, a series of words are being generated. I’m all pins and needles. What gloriously dramatic sentence will be bestowed upon me?
As a single drop of swear slowly falls off of his lip he finally belches out two questions: Did your car broke down? Do you need any help?
Not a word from me. Probably due to deafening disappointment. Did this guy just ask me if I need any help? We are literally standing inside Drama and he is inquiring about my wellbeing. What the actual fuck?
As I stood there in silence, wallowing in disappointment, he asked: “Are you OK?” Our eyes met again and the warmth that radiated from his snapped me out of my melodramatic misery.
“Yeah… I’m fine,” I mumbled.
“You seem distressed,” he said.
Finally I recollected myself and properly responded.
“I am truly OK. My car is fine too. Thank you for asking.”
“If you don’t mind me asking, why did you stop then?” he asked.
“How could I not?!” I exclaimed and pointed at the village.
He looked at the sign.
“What about it?”
“What do you mean what about it?! It’s DRAMA!!!”
“So, it’s just a village name.”
“Well yeah but it’s also… DRAMA!”
“Oh no, one of those again…”
He then turned around and slowly made his way across a beautiful meadow towards wherever he came from.
“But! It’s… drama…” I whispered to myself as I watched him get further and further.
Talk about anticlimactic. Defeated I raised my smartphone and snapped a few photos of the sign. A few moments later I was back on the road. Lost in my thoughts. How could someone live in Drama and not see the significance of it? Baffling. How could I ever move to this place if everyone living here is so nonchalant about it. Sheesh. Dodged a bullet there. Wait! I actually dodged a drama of moving to a place named Drama that is anything but drama! Talk about fucking melodrama! Ha!
Off I was answering the call of adventures yet to be had!