The northern edge of the city provides a view that I liken to hell. To the west just off the highway sits a monstrous monument to extravagance and wastefulness. An outdoor stadium built for car races, which occur maybe three or four times a year, sits empty most of the time. Its sheer size inspires awe, but in a horrifying way. It’s a scar on the landscape. To the east, a hilltop view reveals an endless sea of nearly identical rooftops, very little space in between, people riding on the wave of suburbia.
The traffic is already bad. I can see rain bursting out of the clouds to the south, tail lights and brake lights springing on like the high kicks of chorus girls at perfectly timed intervals as cars drive into the rain. The traffic slows and stops. I look ahead, but can’t see any problem. It starts up again, and just as quickly as it stopped, it resumes normal speed.
I’ve watched the city approach on the horizon for miles. I want to like this place in the same way that I want to like everyone I meet. It’s a city. It hasn’t done anything to hurt me. I called it home for eight years, but my return this time is met with the same lack of enthusiasm I felt as a kid when we visited unfamiliar relatives in
It seems silly to feel this way. It’s just a city, one that’s familiar to me. There are good things here. I don’t really understand why I loathe it so much. Last week I brought along a friend, fresh, unsullied eyes to see the place from a new perspective. It didn’t help. She started feeling sick about an hour outside of town. Coincidence? I think not.
She started feeling sick about an hour outside of town. Coincidence? I think not.