Thursday, February 22, 2007
"Flight" is a gravel road that runs near my place, and at the corner of Flight and Mashie stands a shunned house. I've never seen anyone at this house, though I've lived here over six months now and walk by there frequently. Once this place was loved. But no longer.
There is a dog run in the front yard and a lorn sign by the road that reads "Poodle Xing." There are decorative yard lights along the driveway that have long since broken or been so overgrown with tangled weeds that you can barely see them. In the side yard lies a girl's dark blue bicycle with a rusted chain.
Someone in this place must have been handicapped. Or maybe it was someone who visited there frequently. A wheelchair ramp leads to the back porch but the bottom of it would have to be cleaned of greenery before it could ever be used again. And across the back porch rails hang a couple of faded beach towels turned nearly into iron by long exposure to sun and weather. Yet, at night the lights come on, and you can see shadows cast on an upstairs wall by the slow wheel of a ceiling fan.
I wonder about the people who lived in this house. I wonder about the little girl. Did the family flee after Katrina and decided not to come back? Is "Flight Street" a prophetic name? Or is there a darker reason why the house lies empty? I imagine answers to my questions, of course. I imagine that it was the girl's mother who was handicapped. I imagine the family huddled with the night grown black as hurricane winds ripped through the woods around their home, snapping pines and power poles. I imagine the mother weeping when they left the house, with a fear that they'd never return. I have no idea if anything I think is true. But I wonder.
Sometimes I wonder most whether the little girl misses her bicycle.