Saturday, January 04, 2020

It Makes Them Disappear

The plan was to meet a friend for supper, last night. Running early, as usual, and with a few minutes to spare, a leisurely detour wouldn't hurt. Riding around the area for a little while, familiar landmarks became too apparent.

Just over 13 years ago, a friend of mine took his own life. For a while after he died, I'd still ride by his place. A decade having passed since my last pass, and seeing the turn to his place, I decided to go by to pay respects or just out of some melancholy nostalgia for the past.

He lived in a mobile home that was at the very back of a large, highly populated and very well maintained park. Turning down the road, the most obvious thing of note was the lack of people. This was once a neighborhood teeming with people. Now, it was very sparsely occupied, with many cement pads covered with leaves and debris.

His place was at the very back of the neighborhood. About two blocks in, a gate blocked the way. A road led off to the left. That road curved around and led back to the main road.

There was a single turn to the right. It wasn't familiar, at first, but staring down the road, through all of the growth, there was something familiar about it.

Once, as mentioned, this park was very well maintained. The grass was cut regularly; the trees were trimmed. Now, overgrown, thick with trees covered in dank, hanging moss and vines, the roads are almost impassible. Eventually, at the back road, the once two-lane road turned into a small path through thick bushes.

The tiny road suddenly curves back in the undergrowth. An unusually large fallen tree, black in the growing darkness, now completely blocks the way. The Sun has now set and the long shadows dance. Where my friend died hides in a shadow far in the distance.

A song, from some randomly selected playlist, inaudible at a low volume until the vehicle is forced stop at the tree, when, due to lack of engine noise, it suddenly seems to blare out of the speakers, is at this exact point:

The only way to reach the area where my friend lived was to get out and walk. I didn't. I didn't even think about it. I was just thinking, at this point, about finding a way to turn around and GTFO.