Neglected Lot

by Mark Hahn


I had some time to kill on my recent trip to Phoenix and this empty parking lot looked like as nice a place as any for me to stop. There was a man changing a shredded tire on his beige Buick beater when I pulled in. He looked suspicious. I drove to the other side of the lot and parked. The sun was just starting to set. From the street, the vacant building looked fresh and new, but the overgrown trees and shrubs in the parking lot planters showed the neglect.

I hadn’t driven through Glendale on Northern Avenue for at least five years. I was surprised by how few landmarks I recognized. It looked like it could be Anywhere USA. It seemed like I might never have been there before. It’s amazing what we forget and what we remember.

The ground behind the building looked like a good place to dump some stuff. Come in the middle of the night and just shovel the shit into piles on the dirt and leave it all behind. Everyone has stuff they need to unload – just get rid of. I have my own share. I could use a big dump truck with a fire hose to wash it all off with.