It's an empty street, occupied primarily by vacant lots and abandoned houses. And it's an embarrassingly cliched street, with every embarrassingly cliched element of urban decay present. A haphazard stack of tires from a garage too cheap to pay for special hauling, a sectional suede couch with its moldy cushions slashed, a ten-foot boat with half its hull ripped out. Its identification number and license plates are intact - damning evidence of the owner/dumper's identity, but still not an issue because nobody will ever care enough to track them down.

The vacant lots are littered with empty wrappers and cigarette butts and plenty of other things that hide in the three-foot weeds. The vacant houses that once stood there have been destroyed - the lots look like ass, but at least they've been wiped. And that's more than can be said for the occasionally boarded-up death traps dotting the block - so badly mauled by all four classical elements that even taggers don't want to touch them, the only spray paint (if any) on their warped vinyl sidings or peeling brick veneers is a lazy blue "WATER CUT". There's no furniture left in them, no appliances, no wiring or plumbing or fixtures, and there's nobody around to give a damn if they're gutted for scrap.

Some of them look almost inhabitable - they haven't been vacant long, and the windows are even intact on a few. They're the ones that someone will still make the effort to board up, because there's still something left to protect. While the oriented strand board they use isn't treated for weather resistance and stands no chance against a decently-sized sledgehammer, it's cheap and it's better than nothing. They used to nail it on, but junkies discovered prybars, so they started using screws, but then junkies discovered electric drills and Philips bits. Now it's held in the windowframes with round-head carriage bolts that tighten from the inside. And when angle grinders become cheap enough to be bought with heroin money, they'll have to figure out something else, but for now this is the best that can be done.

A lot of houses don't have anyone to board them up - they don't hold up too well. The doors are ripped off, the interior walls are knocked down - they turn into full-service shoeboxes open 24 hours a day, with nothing to keep the outside out and the inside in. People go inside and set fire to glass pipes and paper tubes and sometimes the house itself. After a while, though, the place will get too bad even for that - when the windowframes grow into ragged holes and the holes grow into the walls, and there's no roof to keep out the rain and the sun, and there's nothing left for the rain and the sun to damage - it stops being a house, and it becomes a modest collection of oddly-angled boards. And it takes a while for something like that to happen - many years of apathy, many harsh winters and hot summers, many young plants coming up through the floorboards - but it happens. And nobody watches it happen, which makes it seem that much quicker in the eyes of civilization, and then by the time someone gets around to taking a look at it there's nothing left to take a look at. While we're busy getting by and slacking off and getting paid and getting laid, the sun and the wind and the rain and the grass make a living the only way they can.

Thunderstorms don't take smoke breaks. Mold doesn't punch out, and cockroaches don't use their sick days. Decay never gets discouraged or distracted or disheartened. Humans are capable of abandoning things, but nature isn't.

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