I grew up white trash in an Ohio township that has a nuclear power plant. A lot of the townspeople wear construction hats because they work at the power plant and think it’s a good deal because it pays for cable TV and a good public school.
The power plant is built alongside a very big lake because these things use a lot of water. From my bedroom window I could see two giant gray cylinders that looked like dopey volcanoes releasing white billowing clouds of steam, and the townspeople would point at them and say, “Isn’t that pretty?” Like they were looking at the Alps. But to me it looked like an apocalypse. However, I must say, sometimes an orange gray sunset would bounce off the steam clouds, and it looked somewhat pretty.
But really it just felt very menacing. Especially because they tested the siren every week. The siren mocked us. It would say, “Maybe it wasn’t worth the cable TV? ” while we ate our microwaved dinners watching Jerry Springer, a show about my people.