A Walk In The Woods

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Melancholy thoughts on this foggy morning walk with the Dudes. The block south of here has more empty lots than houses and of the houses, only eight of the fourteen are occupied. Two of the empty ones are boarded up by a security company. The rest are returning to their former elements, bit by tiny bit. Raccoons, feral cats, brown squirrels and opossums scamper about here, their scent driving the Dudes wild. Turn a certain way and it’s like walking in a vast woods with city sound effects piped in through hidden speakers.

One could easily find despair here, lament for a once great city. And there are moments of that, I must admit, as I struggle to pull this house together on little more than a wing and prayer. It doesn’t last long, this despair. There is opportunity here if you look past the fearful image Detroit has acquired, however rightful that image might once have been or may still be. Opportunity if you’re a seat-of-the-pants kind of thinker, wouldn’t mind an extended urban camp-out, am able to tolerate chaos for long periods of time and can think outside the box … way outside the box.

I own a roof, four walls and a basement for less than the cost of a new hot water heater. Here is what it looked like before I arrived. The electricity was, finally, turned on last week and I’ve begun rewiring the place. The back bedroom is completely rewired, there are several lights and outlets in the basement and overhead lights in the bathroom, kitchen, landing and a motion sensor light over the back door. There’s a new door on the front, the old front door is on the back, complete with kitty door for the critters.

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I’m hunkered down in that small back bedroom, insulated against the coming winter. A makeshift kitchen and entertainment center sits in what will one day be my dining room. I’ve done the measurements and, when the Witch of November comes calling, I can move it all into that small bedroom.

Now that I have some light, it’s time to start working on the water problem.

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