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" … whatever home this world once extended is melting away around me."

Live long enough and your world will have have turned into a DisTopia, the seeming opposite of what you'd hoped it would become. A 70,000 population home town will have mushroomed into a cool quarter million plus. The bordering verdant farmland, so picturesque and quaint, will have sprouted endless identical anonymous suburbs. Backroads will have become four lanes. Favorite haunts will have evaporated, leaving haunted replacements. Solid bedrock will have turned to sand. Your former mastery of your world will have become about as negotiable as leftover Hungarian Florint change, a pocketful of excess weight in the front of your favorite backpack. 'Tiz the way of this world, it seems, to lose whatever once sustained us.

This newer world doesn't feel half as brave as the old one seemed.
It looks as if it took the coward's way out, pock-market with fateful compromises and ill-considered variances. Old comforts become impossible to find and cheap analogue replacements line once warmly-welcoming shelves. Purchasing power might have exponentially increased, but the urge to purchase seems quashed. Ten for a penny beats a buck a piece, even if one can well-afford to part with that buck. The newer stuff just seems to suck, Big Time, futuristic plastics simply come across as cheap and uncaring. Planned obsolescence eliminates the will to acquire, knowing for certain that whatever comes into the collection won't become permanent features. They seem to fill spaces destined to just become spaces again.

Entropy rules even forward evolution, always the constant companion, always trolling for opportunity to stumble any trajectory. Trajectories tend to peak before falling back under an eternal gravity's superior influence. What first propels itself toward orbit falls back to Earth again. It might be wise but next-to-impossible to consider every advancement a partial setback, for some settling back in seems inevitable. I recall this world as cold and overwhelming before it became more warm and welcoming, and now the temperature seems to be falling and I sense that I might be nearing the point where I've over-stayed my original welcome. I worry about the grandkids, who will inherit this place, while recognizing that they carry the time to come to terms with this emerging face of a future I will most certainly not ever become an integral part of.

I do not intend to come across as either cynical or morose. I've been coping with my surroundings too long to crumble in the face of even obvious challenges. I register the differences without letting indifference overwhelm me. I sense a certain discomfort where greater confidence once prevailed. I look over my shoulder more frequently without ever really expecting my more comfortable pasts to ever manifest there. I'm out on my own limb, victim to nothing more virulent than my own rather naive expectations. I'm not ruined yet.

I hold onto my few remaining precious possessions as if my life depended upon them, and while I understand that it doesn't … not really … my semi-sacred way-of-life, probably most certainly does. This last winter, I lost an old pair of blunt-nosed scissors that had been my constant companion for more than thirty years. When I returned for a replacement to the lovely little shop where I'd originally purchased them, I found a store front for a multinational bank instead. I immediately understood that that mom and pop had been priced out of a real estate market and gone the way of the gooney bird. My heart skipped a beat as I recognized that another means for moving forward had already receded into deep background. I found no similar business to refer myself to. I felt just that much more lost as a result, recognizing that whatever home this world once extended is melting away around me.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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