Alley

Everything is connected. 

Power lines 

Gas lines

Streets 

Highways

Some connectors we never see until our perception changes.

So it is with the alley.

The back-world of the familiar. 

The ugly side of what I am used to.

It’s one of the great connectors. 

There’s something mystical about this world which is forming around me; becoming a part of my pattern. As I walk from the new apartment to campus I feel a part of some secret world. A world of do-gooders and do-nothingers who both inhabit the same space and are nearly identical. In fact on some days they are interchangeable. My head fills with bits of Dylan and I imagine that this experience is worthy of the sort of songs he wrote. Gritty and relatable. A family dog. Trash. Smashed boxes. Couples hand in hand walking quickly but with certainty. The smells of Mexican cantina drifting through the alley and mingling with plug-your-nose dampness of garbage. Crumbling stone walls. Cheap patched fences. Overgrown grass. Small apartments only fit for those who inhabit them. There’s an uneasiness in the alley. A desire to find the fastest route to the Main Street even if it doesn’t insure the fastest arrival time. There’s also simultaneous disappointment upon finding the boulevard and abandoning the mysterious realm and entering the suburban dream world. Cars. People in cars. People are cars. A hard shell protecting them from all the dirt of the world. The very dirt from which they came and shall return. But not before being stuffed in another hard shell. Some attempt to slow down this natural cycle. Ashes to ashes. Ashes to Honda to coffin to ashes. Next time I’ll stick to the alley. There’s no hard shells. No hiding. Everything and anything that anyone intended to hide is visible in the alley. So it goes. There’s nothing anyone can or should hide. In our nakedness we’re only human. But try telling that to anyone in a Honda. Or myself any day besides the now. 

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