Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Going home

I went back to Ohio, but my city was gone

They say you can't go home again, and as it happens, in my case anyhow, they are right. It was as though someone had unpinned the town from this time and place as if to apply the metaphor in a literal sense. There was no going back as there was no "there" there anymore.

I sat looking through the windshield of my car at fallow fields running off to the horizon. There was a bank there. And just down the street the county courthouse and coffee shop just beyond that. Now, not even a road sign broke the empty vista of dead fields and fence posts. I turned off the engine with the car pulled off to the side of the road safely out of the way of any...traffic. There was no traffic. I could see down the road for miles in both directions and there was not a car in sight. In fact, I couldn't recall when I had last seen a car on my way here. Or when I had seen the last house or farm.

Yet, in my mind's eye, though distant and vague like as fading dream I could recall details. Details of my town now strangely gone. The A&P stood there and the Stop and Shop just down the street. A gas station here and another across the street. Over there there was a...a, store of some sort. Furniture maybe? Not sure. And over there, just past the town square was a movie theater. It closed when I was a pretty young but I remember seeing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid there and some other movie. I think there were soldiers in it. And there was a drug store with a an old time soda fountain somewhere. Somehow the details escape me but I know there was a parade every year and something about covered bridges.

The wind blows through the fields and the cattails rock back and forth like drunks on stilts. My town is gone. Metaphorically and it would seem literally as well. Somehow, after I moved away it was buried beneath more pressing and immediate matters and drifted off into the recesses of my mind and life and now, now it's gone all together. I guess it's true what they say.

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