I’ve been this way before but my minds eye sees it a bit differently this time. Disjointed and out of context, a place slightly askew.
The heat is palpable and stifling, the humidity oppressive. It is the humidity that mutes the noises which surround me; the sound of the water truck wetting the street to try and control the dust. The distant hiss of air brakes on a parked locomotive as they release excess pressure while it rests waiting for westbound traffic to clear the swing span. Then, there is the constant din of construction. The sounds that can never really be identified but indicate “progress” is being made.
Progress; indicated by a landscape that has no resemblance to the community that limped along south of the tracks just a few short years ago. Maybe if the homes had been a bit newer, the community a bit younger, it would still be here. Gone are the residents, displaced by this thing called progress; a progress mandated by the environmental concerns of an aging industrial power plant and a thirst for consumables packaged in earth friendly bio-plastics. The irony is they are earth friendly and biodegradable only if left in the sun to decompose or when re-cycled. Once locked in a landfill they are no better than any other trash, future fossils for generations yet unborn. Their use did make someone feel like they made a difference, and for some, feelings and good intentions are all that matters.
Tell that to the residents scatter to the four winds that will never see this place as home again. Maybe then they’ll feel better too.