96.-CoarseThe town he loved seemed to be changing before his eyes, and not in a good way. People were getting angrier. The town was growing coarser, it seemed, by the minute.

It was little things, at first. Hardly noticeable. People weren’t as quick to say “hello.” Tempers seemed just a little quicker to fray. He chalked it up to imagination. Maybe he was feeling overly sensitive for some reason, he thought. Maybe it was just him.

He started to notice more liter on the ground. More and more houses seem to be falling into states of disrepair. He wondered if it had always been that way and he had just missed it before.

People were quicker to cut him off in traffic, or loudly voice their opinion if he did something they didn’t like.

Was it a function of growing older and less able to shake things like this off? The more he thought about it, though, the more he thought that aging wasn’t the cause of this unease he was feeling in a place that he had always felt comfortable in. It was his home, after all. The one place on the planet that had always felt right to him.

It felt like there was something in the water, making people both meaner and dumber.

It started picking up speed when the summer heat came on. He saw two fights in the grocery store parking lot (both over parking spaces).

Something was definitely wrong. He was sure of it.