end

standing watch

La fin du monde. Perhaps the end of the world happens for people in differing ways. For some, it may be the death of a family member. All the shared memories and dreams become a terrible reminder of the loss. Tragedy. Woe. Perhaps it is catastrophe. Apres moi le deluge. The flood. Plague and pestilence. On September 11, 2001, all the world seemed to burn and everything was strangely chaotic and lopsided. It seemed as though everything we knew had fallen down and landed on its head. Sometimes, the world breaks for good reason. Ripperside Shawn and I find life in shambles frequently. We saw a family home today. An old woman had lived there. Church bulletins were scattered about. Denture cream and Depends boxes lay in heaps of trash. She must have been handicapped. I could see evidence of her long occupation of the home.

handicapped

seen some better times…

her life in rain

From the floor, I picked up a curled, yellowing black and white photograph. A tired-looking elderly woman, stared back at me. Her eyes could not hide the weight of her existence. I placed the photograph up on a window ledge so she could see the trees outside. Faded knick-knacks and memorabilia sat in dusty niches reflecting the dirty sun that filtered through the broken windows. It seemed cold in the house. Colder than it should be. Ghosts. I felt lost… saddened. It was like part of her still remained in the detritus of her broken life. The pool lay out back in an overgrown lot amid a tangle of tree limbs and refuse. It had obviously been unused for decades. It must have been an obscene daily reminder of a happier time. Cookouts, swimming, family.

disuse

Tires and garbage were strewn about. I saw  broken glass. Others had come this way after she left. They always do. Vermin. They scurry in the night and pass on their virus and disease. The dark teems with a thousand horrors. We walked through, saying very little. Her story was there. On the floor and in the rubble. The end of her world. Skate- Ozzie

witnesses

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4 thoughts on “end

  1. Great write up, Oz. Abandoned homes have a way of expressing our utter impermanence as few other things can. Look up photos of Gary, Indiana. Or Detroit. Tough times for folks and a lot of life’s work and hopes left to rot.
    I’ll forever have the image of a black and white photo facing outward in a window sill. A small, yet incredibly meaningful act of dignity and respect in a place that had none.

  2. Every single time I read your stories they make me wake. Between your keyboard and camera you akways show us life in such way that make us think. Thanks for sharing with us…life. my back hurts once in awhile but I wont quit skating.

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