Teenagers still shoot baskets and dunk on lowered hoops in the streets. You can still hear the sound of shoes squeaking as they’re slapping sticks on the black top while playing a game of hockey in the parking-lot, and ten years later you can still hear first time parents yelling at children as bottle rockets fire out of a single glass cola bottle that’s been buried in the long over fertilized grass but when lit is seconds later exploding with a bang in the bug swarm that is the month of July.
And there’s still the sound of jazz and the great unknowable moan of outer space, and there’s still the sound of cracking beers and those smooth drifts of the wood in the campfire song, and if you listen… you can still hear the sound of the wind from the two tires lifted through the open trails as people ride their bikes around the lakes and rivers and abandoned ship yards.
After ten years, much is how it was, but the difference is…now schools have been condemned and are homes for the ghosts. The difference is…now I’ve watched them dump the remains of old factories in smaller lake… and I’ve watched the coal as it sinks to the bottom of bigger lake…and I’ve watched swans eat paper and aluminum and dunk underwater and then fight over a cardboard box full of candy wrappers. And the difference is…now unmarked ships big as football fields that look like whole mining towns pass alongside sailboats and father and son fishing boats. And the difference is…smoke rises in the morning air with the sun and the sand…the sand….the sand looks very much the same as it did, only now it’s much redder, like dirt or blood gone bad.