Driving through York County unfolds a tapestry of the state of Pennsylvania. “Who is John Galt?” is written on a yard sign next to four bright green dollar signs. Rolling Dutch country hills fill the rear view mirror like a painting, while three girls on bikes stick their tongues out and laugh. An Amish couple sits in a buggie at a gas station alongside a pick-up truck decorated in bumper stickers reading, “IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT HERE, GET OUT.” At this particular home, sheets made into ghosts welcome Halloween, and fly side by side an American and Confederate flag.
York County, Pennsylvania.
Nicole sings without her voice shaking. She shifts her weight from one knee to another, her high heels making small noises against the ballroom floor. Cell phones buzz in the background, but the high school students don’t move their gaze away from Nicole. The audience is in a trance.
Nelson sits on the hood of her beat-up car. The front is held together by duct tape, which she jokes about often. In the Home Depot parking lot, bright lights and signs reflect on the recently painted black stripes on her face.