well enough

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I’ve LIVEd here long enough to call this my HOMETOWN,
it just takes 20 years to find your way around,
and it’s like a language that you start to learn when you’re grown up,
it’s not the same, but I can speak it well enough..

this town has NEIGHBORHOODs like kids I knew in school:
the gritty and the good, the popular and cruel,
we’ve got stories that we tell about the places we don’t go,
and we don’t know, but we believe them well enough..
+++Pittsburgh, you’re a funny spot, so friendly, and so split apart,
+++into pieces that repel, we go home and keep to ourselves,
+++how many Oakland students know the brown stew down at Mama Rose?

I tried to love you once, I fumbled with my words,
I thought that love would cure the places where I hurt,
so I and took a step, and held my breath, and I messed the whole thing up,
and by the end, I guess you knew me well enough,
+++the LOCAL CULTURE magazines, they document the shifting scene,
+++the disappearing underground: this used to be the Shadow Lounge,
+++but now there’s no more open mic; imported beer—8 bucks a pint,
+++between Homewood and Shadyside, 2 miles is a great divide..

so I am not your son, no, I’m from somewhere else,
I’m just the neighbor kid who showed up unannounced,
and I’ve watched the way your family plays, and laughs, and fights, and loves,
it’s not my game, but I can fake it well enough,
it’s not my game, but I can play it..
I’ve lived here long enough to call this my hometown…

2018 Just This Guy contest entry:
“The song must include:
1. The name of the town.
2. A positive aspect of the town.
3. A negative aspect of the town.
4. The words HOMETOWN, LOCAL, CULTURE, LIVE and NEIGHBORHOOD.

As always, Bonus Points for using the word Monkey.

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