Friday, July 31, 2009

Drive Time

This happened during September 1985.

I drove west on 38th Street in Indianapolis and had passed Keystone Avenue before I noticed that the buildings were old and some were vacant -- shells of the businesses that had left them.

I imagined how it was 60 or 50 or even 40 or 30 years ago, when the street was the main business through a neighborhood, with groceries stories, cleaners, hardware stores, and other businesses within easy walking distance of the residents. Now it was inhabited with people of various social and economic levels, most of them low.

I thought the windows of the buildings looked like sockets for dead and gone eyes and the buildings looked like skulls. I shuddred.

By then I had passed the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Museum and immediately rolled through what looked like a park but what was the museum's' grounds, the former estate of a pharmaceutical tycoon and his family. I noticed trees which were about five to 10 years old according to their height, planted in rows like a nursery.

I went under an overpass and saw car lots, strip malls, and the rest of a transient commercial area where businesses were here today and gone six months from now after a decision by the central office -- usuall somewhere out of state.

I compared this area to the area along Shadelane Avenue between Washington and East 38th streets and decided that the only way this section was better was that the asphalt of the srtreets wasn't crumbling.

By then, I had driven past where west 38th Street intersects Interstate 465. The cars in the opposite lanes reminded him of insects and their headlights of bug eyes.

I had driven past my destination, so I turned around.

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