Another Lonely Place

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
short piece about the town I grew up in.

Submitted: September 14, 2009

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Submitted: September 14, 2009

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There is nothing much to this town really; to the passerby travelling on route to some more important destination it is just the remains of a typical Northern Ontario forestry town. Just another place to stop and rest, refill supplies, or have something to eat in one of the few restaurants that line the road before moving on.

The almighty Trans-Canada Highway 11 North, running East to West forms the southern border of our quiet little town, and there is nothing but hundreds of kilometers of lakes, streams, and forest in any direction beyond it. To the far end of town towards the pink and purple hues of our summer sunsets; beyond the rows of empty duplex houses, and a dilapidated baseball diamond that hasn't hosted a game in years, flows the mighty Mattagami River. The bridge that spans those ever cascading waters; supported by a host of colorfully spray-painted weathered concrete piers, is a behemoth of intricately woven "I" beams with rusted rivets, and grey flaking paint. Structurally sound, yet far its prime it smacks of the bygone days of an induustrial acme come and gone and remains to stoically endure, and faithfully accentuate the equally rusted smoke-stacks of the old decommissioned paper mill towering in the backdrop.

Beaneath this bridge, by the brown and silty waters of another day lay hundreds of tiny artifacts strewn about haphazardly over the span of better years, and better times. Broken beer bottles glitter in the sun as if to mimick the lapping waters dancing a few feet away while discarded soda cans, and junk food wrappers form colorful mosaics where the lack of sun has allowed no life to thrive. Pilled high in the damp recesses of concrete corners is the driftwood once used to access the tops of piers with the hopes of etching a sweethearts name or some vague obscenety on what little remains of the pale virgin concrete walls. Fishing lures sacrificed and forgotten hang from nearby treetops, while cigarette butts smoked away from the prying eyes of parents, in the attempts to leave an awkward adolescence behind, litter the soft moist ground. There are rotting posts that stand at attention as they edge the bank of the waterway; wooden logs burried upright, and still fastened to old steel cables that once coralled timbers destined for the mill while rock peirs a few meters downstream jut from the waters surface provinding marine birds refuge while waiting in vain to be put to use. Waterlogged trees linger in the inlets with thier heads barely above the waterline; casualties of a war hopelessly lost to a technologically armed enemy bent on progress.

An old knotted rope sways helplessly above the murky depths, suspended from a large girder a few meters from the first set of piers. As if left stranded by hands that have long since healed from the small scrapes and cuts redieved while climbing to fetch it, and swing from it, and to do it again; it is frayed, and dried up, and unsound. Water drips from a hight somewwhere beneath the length of the spanning structure, into the ever flowing abyss that is change. It echoes as laughter once did in the happy days of another sunfilled summer day, inittially loud yet fading with every wave. This is just another lonely place that time has tucked in tight for a long and sleepy dreamless night.


© Copyright 2020 Gabriel Ambrose Fields. All rights reserved.

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