I was out jogging in the early morning a few days ago, the morning after it at rained all night and been doing so off and on all week. This town is not especially designed for handling rain considering how relatively rare it is, but by the time I was out, it had mostly drained away.
I spent about an hour making my way around the streets and drainage system as best I could, but I kept running into places where I couldn’t get across because there was too much water. Eventually, I got as far as I thought I could and came home. The journey was kind of nice, though. I was up early enough that almost no one else was out and I got to see that “washed clean” look that places have just after a rain. Of course, it’s not really washed clean, it’s just washed downhill, and I found all kinds of junk along the way. In particular, there was a heap of mattresses, a couch, a tire and some other stuff I can’t identify or all together remember.
And then everywhere around me was worn down junk. Odessa’s a relatively young town, but things age fast when they get abandoned. Closed down restaurants that still stink of food, asphalt parking lots overgrown with a grass, hell, even a soccer field surrounded by barb wire and fencing to keep kids out of it, a sign on the building that goes with the property trying to sell it. The soccer field is an absolute mess, but it wouldn’t be that hard to mow it. There’s bleachers and goals and everything, not to mention several apartment complexes and tons of residential housing all around it.
I’m getting off track. Point is, that area is run down. There are worse places than it by far, but this is bad enough. And that morning, I got a little glimpse at what it’d be like to come back to a town left alone for a few years, abandoned to rot. Just jogging around after a rain, seeing all people’s crap strewn throughout and caught up at certain spots in the drainage, everything around grown up and falling apart. It wasn’t anything significant, but I don’t know. I always felt a kind of romance toward rust. Toward something so clearly in twilight but unwilling to acknowledge it.
Ruins are death, or something that’s given up. But a ghost town is still pretending. There’s still the possibilities of life there, but there isn’t.
Jogging on a treadmill or up and down the same streets is useless. Give me scenery any day, no matter what it is.