As I write these words I am currently parked outside of an abandoned orange grove, the Kia serving as mobile press office and exploratory vehicle. Behind me are the rotting remains of generations of dreams. The packing house, a cross between factory and roadside orange grove stand, now lies in ruins, a shadow of its former self. The heavy machinery, the box labels marking grapefruit bound for Tokyo, even the sign that once hung above the building patiently wait inside, sure that one day that front door is going to open and business go back to normal.
The place is haunted in a sense, though not by any dead folks as far as I could tell. I tip toe softly and hear buzzes, shouts, but they aren’t bouncing off the walls. I can see both the building as it was and as it is now: smiling customers mix with the caved in ceiling, two men argue over pay by the graffiti that says “Shit Chamber,” covered in dust; scattered everywhere are tags for holiday fruit once carefully attached to wooden crates..
In Japan a sword is believed to gain a soul after one hundred years. How about a building? Am I feeling its memories locked in the wood, the metal? Where else might this feeling of longing be coming from?
I crawl back outside, storm winds rolling in from the west. My mobile encampment lies hidden in the bushes, and with scarcely time to open a beer a monsoon washes over the area. In the back seat I stare watching, wondering of lives and futures that could have been.
Something has changed in the American power structure. There’s a revolutionary future out there in some quantum space that will never be ours again, as doomed as the building I’m parked beside. This isn’t the same country we were organizing in four years ago.
And I think we’ve taken a turn for the worst.