The car wash that was on the corner was fenced off before the election, and political signs started hanging there. That car wash had the obnoxious alarm on the token machine that would blare three notes intended to sound like a continuous siren, an audible illusion as annoying as the optical ones where your brain tries to see it both ways at once, and often fails. At least you can close your eyes; the siren could be heard from my apartment to the grocery store, for most of the seven minute walk. The other day, it had been smashed into rubble, and there were men and dumpsters cleaning up; now, the lot is vacant. Soon, things will begin to grow there. I see the trees behind it, now. I like the trees.
The resturant in the strip mall, La Casa Loca, was closed down. It dried up like all things do in the desert, and blew away without notice. There's a new sign up, announcing a new resturant there (coming soon!), and there has been painting within.
The sign that had been on their window, the sign about the dollar margarita night (I always thought of going, but never did) was painted by one of the guys from the Studio, the one who was into mysticism and somewhat flaky. I always grinned, to see his name, and thought of Joan Eunice's husband the painter, because of the associations with sign painters. I wondered what was happening, when they stripped the sign off the glass, but I didn't think very hard. And then they were closed. The Little Fayoumis called it "the music place," because Wednesday night was karaoke night, and that was always going strong when we walked past to get to my evening class.
There is still the hole in the fence around othercat and ralmathon's apartment complex, a hole placed so that students can pop out and go to school without having to have a gate-clicker, scale the fence, wait for a car, or mangle the car-gate. The car-gate hasn't been off its railings once since the student-hole was opened. Hmm. There is a chaosphere spray-stenciled on the brick wall, and another chaosphere on a power box near work. The neighborhood is getting interesting.
I am a Local, now -- the son/delivery driver at the little Chinese resturant on my corner was driving out as I was coming home, and he and I nodded and waved to each other. I have a Neighborhood. I support local businesses. Some of my neighbors are co-workers. I've been here long enough to get the feel of the sidewalks in my feet, to grin at the family drama of the ever-present grackles, to giggle when I scare the little doves. One of the eucalyptus trees I pass by daily gave me a wand.
For all that, I'm easy to transplant still, just as long as you let me keep enough of my roots and give me enough water...