I walk the same streets I grew up on, but I’m walking without direction. Everything is just as familiar as it is foreign.
The town once prospered as an industrial town, producing the literal nuts and bolts that held the rest of the country together. Where that factory stood now stands a nursing home. Transient in nature with its rooms filling and vacating daily.
As I stroll up and down main street, the same faces appear day after day. Lost in their inertia. Day after day sitting on the same benches watching the same red bricks slowly, slowly turn to dust and crumble.
These streets were built over 200 years ago. Buildings have been erected, razed, burnt and rebuilt, but for all that trouble the feeling of stasis and emptiness still looms large.
The more I move the more lost I get. I see the same things on the same streets. I turn and look again, headed down a side street this time. The same buildings that have been there for hundreds of years, fill and empty at a generational pace, leaving the residue of history on its painted and repainted Victorian clapboards. But those are the lucky ones. Some show the fate of neglectfulness, returning to their foundation one board or brick at a time.
The people who have sat on the same benches are subject a similar, if not modern
predicament. Filling the same spaces with a specific emptiness, neglected or forgotten until their shingles slip from their roofs, and the panes get cracked.
A road map makes it appear to be an X marking the spot. Two major roads converge right here. Perhaps this is what keeps this town from sinking into record as another industrial town devoured by a culture that no longer needs it.
The same but different. The landscape is shifting, not changing just shifting, stuck in its own history but still affected by the world that passes through.
I walk the same streets I grew up on. Everything is foreign to my own past but familiar to me now.
“He who was living is now dead
We who are living are now dying”