Today I had to drive through the Hellmouth on my way to a job interview (I-95 was a parking lot, and I got off so I wouldn’t be late.)
It looks really different; the ratty old train station where I used to commute to work is all shiny and yuppified and new. I even took a brief detour down my old street. Despite living in a claustrophobic little box of a studio apartment, I did love that 150-year-old building (a former tavern/whorehouse). And it was the prettiest little street ever. My landlord’s historic old house (1692) is now a stylish bed and breakfast, and the old marina is closed up. At the other end of the street, they’re rehabbing an old Victorian mansion on the waterfront.
I was so unhappy when I lived there, but I did love that little street. I’d lost my job, my car engine blew up and I even got pneumonia – without insurance, of course. I’d never been so sick in my life. My bedroom (an alcove, really) was so small that my double bed almost filled the room, and I would lie there, shaking with chills and fever, listening to the crackly noise my lungs made when I breathed. And even after I finally got a new job and saved enough money to move to Mt. Airy, I also got really sick the night before I moved out – and stayed sick for another two weeks.
But I didn’t think of any of that today. I just drove down the street, remembering how beautiful it was in the fall when the leaves turned red.