When I imagine my childhood home, I picture it in a wasteland, abandoned and desolate, a post-apocalyptic bubble where the stale air is impossible to breathe. Where Main Street is a ghost town, windows shattered, glass and crumpled newspapers littering the curbs, broken signs dangling in feeble winds. The urban high school is emptied, an eerie maze of cavernous rooms with desks lined in precise rows and facing blank chalkboards.
Everything about this town is blank. The billboards, posters, movie theater screens. No one wants to live in the place struck down by God’s heavily armored fist. The survivors fled as fast as their cars would burn rubber on the searing asphalt roads. Weeds and kudzu strangle the yards in their quest to conquer broken homes. Their old riches mean nothing now. No one dares to cross the border into the town of seven hells, where one is guaranteed to spiral toward its deepest pit and never escape. The oldest money is caged there, dirtied and bloodied by greed and lust, sloth and catty rage.
One day, the whole area will be sucked into the earth, and nearby mountains will crumble and fall, covering the shame with rock and soil, from which a field of bold red roses will grow and bloom.