Wednesday, October 14, 2009

NOTE: I'm starting to re-write an old short story. Here's how it starts.

Swamp Things and Lilly Pads

It started with a story: heard by me and my cousin and told by another. A tall drink of water spatting and spewing this yarn about screwing this homeless homosexual out of two dollars by the vague promise of promiscuous behavior on the cross town bus earlier that week. The story, like many of the stories the tall drink of water told came to an odd halt with no real ending, just a sigh and a shrug when we arrived at a park in Warren. Needless to say, sometimes when people go through weird or rough spot in their life, that spot lasts for years and years.

At the time, and now, I'm not sure what the name of the park is, but we called it the Warren Trails. There were two places we called the Warren Trails, which sometimes lead to confusion when you were meeting someone there. The first Warren Trails were actually in Madison Heights, on the edge of Warren somewhere, but we didn't know that when we named it. They (the trails) were behind a hospital just northwest of the cross streets Eleven Mile and Dequindre.

The Warren Trails we were visiting that day were just off a park south of Nine Mile between Dequindre and Ryan Rd. And this is not to say that either of these "trails" were actually trails, but they were small, hidden wooded areas in the middle of lower-middle class suburbia.

Us three, The Water, my cousin, and me went to the park to spend some time outdoors and to take in the wind that was rapidly whipping around after days of rain. That park in general always rubbed me the wrong way. On one side was a trailer park, and the other side was industry. It was the perfect place for twenty year old white women to bring their multiple children while they argued on the phone with one of their many possible baby-daddies in spaghetti strap tank tops with strange fat in areas you never knew could get fat spilling out over short shorts or pajama pants.

As we exited the car we approached the area very slowly because something was amiss. We'd visited the Warren Trails southern branch at all times of the year, day and night and it had never looked like this. The closer we got the more foreign it seemed. The ground shimmered in the light and moved with the wind. The sun that crept through the trees spread across areas that were usually shrouded in darkness. This was a new world and we were Christopher Columbus in a grade schoolers eyes, filled with awe and apprehension and wonder.

"It's rain," my cousin muttered.

The park had turned into a swamp. Each dip in the land was filled and over flowing with sweet and stagnant water that had fallen and refused to drain for the decaying city was too poor to fix the sewers that year.