STREETS AND STONES
I live on a city street running in front of homes built in the 1940s and 1950s.
Cracker boxes, I call them. Small, seven hundred-eight hundred square foot private residences.
Some with lawns and gardens and a sedan or SUV in the driveway.
Some with six, eight, ten work trucks parked out front,
parked where there could be grass in the middle of yards,
parked two or three deep, usually one or two with the hood up, guys poking around the engine, one guy gunning it.
Many of the trucks have great sound sy’stems which the drivers blare as they race up the street. Loud fiesta music, ole’!
Loud, revving engines and pounding music you can feel in your kitchen in the back of your house, or in your bed when they come home at two or three A.M.
Heavy bass beating, beating, beating while kids sit in their dark -tinted- windowed low riders doing who knows what as they sit there. They’re not bad kids, just noisy at all hours of the night.
When I first moved here, well over a year ago, I asked my city councilman if they could put in speedbumps to slow the cars enough to allow little kids and walkers to get out of the way; also thinking that slower moving cars would be quieter. Silly me. The city cannot put in speed bumps. They would impede the snowplows, come winter. And drag races are prohibited, and monitored out on Federal, not the side streets.
Often, now, when I’m out front when a truck goes growling by, too fast and too much bass, I pointedly glare. I’m an old woman. It’s a privilege to glare at those who annoy you. They don’t care, but it feels good sometimes, and I never watch to see them flip me off. It’s all good.
Mostly the trucks and cars and their drivers truly do not bother me. However, two days ago some truck, most likely a truck with a long trailer hitched to its rear, its music beating loudly, and the driver moving too fast, and unwilling to drive down the street to the next corner to turn…some truck pulled a U-ey in front of my house.
It made a U-turn, not so unusual on this street. Typically, if there is a space along the curb without a car or truck in it, someone will use it to turn around.
This particular U-turn could not be made without swinging wide.
It could not be completed on the street, but required use of the sidewalk,
And you guessed it, the corner of my struggling lawn.
I discovered it sometime after it occurred, when the culprit had already split.
Oh, how I stared at the tire tracks imbedded in the sandy soil I had just last week seeded.
I stared, and glared, and screwed up my mouth at the evidence of destructive driving.
I put my hands on my hips, and looked from truck to truck to car lining my nearest neighbors’ driveways unable to tell which might have done the damage.
I stomped back into the house, then stomped back out to stare at those tire tracks, fuming.
I drank my morning coffee staring at those tracks.
I walked up and down the sidewalk, staring at those tracks.
Oh, I know. I could grab my rake and smooth them away.
Say it was nothing to be upset about.
But dammit, it was rude, and careless, and rude, even disrespectful of my property, and rude.
I wanedto walk up to that driver, whoever it was, and glare, point my finger, and tell them to get THEIR rake and fix the damage, however slight.
Yeah, that’ll never happen. No one will fess up, even if they know they did it.
So, as I was working out back, digging up new gardens and pulling big rocks from the old, dried up pond that was once likely someone’s pride and joy before it was filled with stones, bricks, old bottles, broken Legos, empty chip bags, and covered with dirt, I started hauling and dragging those big rocks out front…to the corner of my lot…to cover those tire tracks in heavy stones.
The more rocks I dig up, the more I pile on the tracks. They look pretty good. Establishing a defined border. Solidifying my boundaries. I like this solution.
And I hope someday to get the satisfaction of watching some truck pull a wide U-turn in front of my house and blow its big treaded tires on one of my stones.
Lord, hear my prayer…
NaPoWriMo 2023 Free form