There is a little patch of woods I pass on the way to work, about an acre, that sits beside the evil expensive Exxon station (that insanely overcharges for Fig Newtons, by the way). At least there was a little patch of woods. Today, there is nothing left but some chewed up tree trunks leaning forlornly around the perimeter of a big empty acre of dirt field. I know what is coming next. A Food Lion, or a dry cleaners, or a Wax n Things. Possibly a cluster of fast food restaurants and a Jiffy Lube. The people in Barhamsville, Virginia are probably as pleased as punch they don’t have to drive as far to get a milkshake, or a six-pack or a car wash. But I can’t help extrapolate this minor bit of land development beyond this insignificant parcel of land half an hour from Richmond to the whole world. Everything we know is being chewed up and spit back out into pre-fabricated knick-knackeries, olde time ice cream shoppes, convenience stores, blockbuster movies, morning zoos. Hell, Crustables. If it is happening there in tiny Barhamsville, it must be happening everywhere.
Which is a difficult thing for me to take in. It seems almost too big to comprehend. See, I always do this to myself–if I see a stray dog, I don’t just see the one in front of me, but thousands upon thousands of neglected or abused or lost dogs and cats, children…I don’t know, grandparents. I become overwhelmed with grief. I feel guilty for having a warm place to sleep, or lingering a few seconds too long on The Maury Povich Show. One itsy bitsy acre of woods, to me, represents swaths of virgin forest the world over, being eagerly bulldozed every goddamned second to make room for unnecessary things that seem to offer to satisfy our insatiable appetites.
School opens late tomorrow. An extra hour of sleep for me; only I have already frittered it away eating cold pizza, drinking beer and wondering if I should sleep in my sleeping bag again tonight, or actually climb beneath the sheets like a normal person.