Marooned

I just dropped by Dad's car off at a speed shop on 28th street - one of those 5 lane highways you find just outside every American city - the ones lined with gas stations, car dealerships, McDonald's and Taco Bell.  

I dropped off the car, and then walked a quarter mile down the road to McDonald's - where I sit now.

 

It's a funny thing, being here without a car. This world is not meant for us. We're not meant to walk these streets.  We're not meant to move slowly here.  We're not meant to see this place.

 

On the way over, we crossed a ditch: 40 feet wide, carpeted with rubbish - paper cups, plastic bags, something that looked like an old bumper.  After the ditch, an empty lot. It looked like a demolition site - the earth turned over, rough, fluorescent-and-wood sticks tick-tacking the perimeter.

 

And then, McDonald's.  One step, back into the world.  Landscaping and 2 inch lettering - aimed at us, the recently car-departed pedestrians.  Another step, and we're indoors. Tables, chairs, hamburgers - wifi! This, this is world we're meant to see.

 

It's was shocking, the sudden transition from the bizarre and grotesque to the ultra-familiar, the iconic, the normal.

 

Ugliness, I think, true ugliness, ugliness that transcends individual taste - this ugliness - this, I think, is how we know evil.  This ugliness that unsettles, that pricks your skin, that turns your stomach.  This is how we know we've made a mistake.