wrong side of the tracks

by joelmckerrow

We keep finding ourselves on the wrong side of town. I think it’s something to do with bus stations. We arrive in cities and wander through disheveled quiet streets knowing that somewhere, not far away, there must be coffee shops teeming with life. But, not always knowing where we are, where we’re going or what we’re looking for we are met often by the less attractive side of city life.

Met by gritty, tired, mostly silent streets that look in need of a scrubbing brush and all seem to say, “we were promised more than this, by those town planners, all those years ago.”

We are met by gritty, tired, mostly silent people who too were promised more and, like us, are unsure where they are, or how to move in a different direction.

When we find those funky streets, teeming with promises realised and new hopes springing from the recycled, repurposed, repossessed beer bottles, (which now live a new life as window frames or vases), I sit sipping my crushed strawberry lemonade knowing that three blocks away the architecture tells a different story.

It’s not that Melbourne doesn’t also tell this story of the confusing co-existence of the haves and have-nots. It’s that at home I know how best to avoid those things that make me uncomfortable, those streets that make me walk just a little faster, those lives I like to forget call my city home. But new towns mean new eyes wide with expectancy and not so easily able to disregard the ‘other side’.

~ Heidi ~