It bothers me to see it because it bothers me to be back in this small town, even though it was my choice. River City was a pin on the map between the beach home of a now departed relative and the big conurbation. It reminds me of how I have been too long in this place, this country, this phase. The road out of here to there and back gets longer every day.
That old house disturbs me more because I remember when it used to be a home. Of sorts. I remember the kids' bicycles on the lawn. They guy who worked next to me. An odd guy. Introverted. Depressed maybe. I liked him.
When he gave up his job to be alone with his books for a year or so, I never bothered to visit him. Maybe I would have looked through him in the same way as I look through so many people I once knew in this town. There were rumors about things his wife was doing; a job in California that never came through. Then nothing, Just this house that fell apart by the day until it stood abandoned with a For Sale sign that is teetering over in the yard. The For Sale signs in this town are permanent fixtures. The houses never sell.
Sometimes I wonder whatever happened to them. Do families rot away like old houses or re-form and re-align and find new vistas? I wonder what dark deeds occurred between those four walls. Or maybe the darkness is in my head and there was no drama - just long days of dust and drift. Which are far more frightening when you think about it.