I took a photo of a bulldozed lot this evening, from the front of a vacant and overgrown storefront. The storefront used to be Mitchel Street Market, and before that 7-11, and for a time it was the center of life in town- in winter, in particular.
I found myself on the sidewalk in front of the building at the tail end of a long summer evening cycle ride, and had been looking along the brick wall for where the old pay-phone used to be. I only found old outlets where, I suddenly remembered, vending machines were plugged in.
I cupped the glare out from around my eyes and peered through the giant front window. A few remnants of shelving remained dusty inside, including a cell phone charger rack, but most was grey and gutted. One of the barn doors that used to conceal the dumpster was wrenched off its hinges and awkwardly jack-knifed in place. A slimy pile of trash, no longer concealed by it. The curb in front of the parking lot was rounded and crumbled, and grass grew pleasantly from many cracks.
Across the street a flat lot of fresh dirt sat dull and lifeless as the vacant storefront. But in another life, one as fresh to me now as the moment it happened, I stood in that same spot, bathed in the yellow glow of the 24 Hour Halogens, and the old headlights of vehicles parked in front. Across the street, an equally vibrant Family Video- not a flat dirt lot- stood vibrant and glowing in shades of orange and yellow beneath the clear silver stars of my youth and first neighborhood, as a young man.
I remember standing there and looking at the stars and walking footstep after footstep back to the cycles of my life in my first little apartment and experiencing this moment of crisis. A feeling of becoming dislodged in time and gazing ahead to a moment where the world in which I lived, which seemed so impregnable to any degree of change, was wiped away. From that world, tonight, I found myself once again back in that same moment of crisis. Like time traveling to hold hands, I felt a loop close.
To see first hand the worlds stacked upon worlds that until now remnants have only just implied to me, is quite something.
Last updated July 04, 2023