Where missing teeth is a sign of a wisdom just as wrinkles on a Western man's brow, the deepest voids of the south have always been my favorite places to visit. While I may not live too far from this weekend's destination, my town is still vain enough to look down on overalls and tractors owned by shirtless men--despite our own share of such stereotypical commodities. "I am so excited," my friend, Elizabeth, said, quite earnestly. I always enjoy our little trips, and this would be my first time seeing her hometown. The trip was not very long, but the ride there had a few interesting sights, including, but not limited to: swamp, trees, cows, trees, vacant shacks, trees, Ford trucks older than the towns, trees, swamp, horses, trees and more trees. The towns stretched no more than ten miles and had nothing more than a gas station or two and a few trailer homes hidden in the woods. The people would sit on the side of the road or on stoops situated for snooping and wave politely at passing cars. In my town, any man who dared try would find himself diagnosed with one of the worst cases of carpal tunnel in medical history.
Pushed into the center of an oddly organized tree farm, Elizabeth's house was quaint and full of wonderful things. After eating dinner at a small Chinese restaurant in the busy part of town--my craving for sweet and sour chicken finally at a draw with subsidence--I comfortably sunk into the couch waiting for me in her living room and watched hours of idle television. While the television set flashed pictures and illuminated the space with a blue light, I smoothed out the wrinkles in my fortune cookie's wrapper. It was the only one of four with a rose stamped on the thin plastic. I jumped at the chance to take it, and when I opened it, it read, "Take a trip with a friend." It was as if Confuscius, or whoever the "Master Kong" of Wong's Palace Restaurant might actually be, really knew of our plans for the weekend. At any rate, the two coincidences within this fortune gave me the feeling this cookie should be savored and the fortune saved--along with its rosy wrapper, too, of course.
Typically, I am not on the receiving end of introductions and new sights, but I shook hands and hugged some of the nicest people living on the palm-filled edges of Georgia. Wherever we drove, I could not stop myself from gazing out the window--everything felt so new and refreshing. With its beautiful swamps and close-knit community, Waycross was a nice change from the usual. I am not sure I could ever become completely accustomed to all of the smells and devilish turns of its roads, but Waycross is a home. I would not turn down the chance to visit it again.