You drive by it and it’s a block of mud
Weeds and trash, and you don’t think about it
You pass it for months, years, and days and it flies by, waving and watching you
You keep driving
In the dark and in the light
Then it’s light and then dark and it’s Christmas and Charlene’s baby shower and important staff meeting and matinee and slow down, there’s a cop behind and don’t feel like heading to the gym
And soon enough, or maybe it’s not soon
But it seems soon, like it’s been dropped from the broken sky
A sign. Not the divine sort but an actual sign made of wood with Coming Soon painted on
Weeds still there. Mud too, but only in the winter. Only when it rains, then it’s skull-hard dirt, packed. Not that you’d notice, and how did they get that sign pounded down into the mud.
It’s coming soon and you’re excited
So close by. A dry cleaner, a shoe shine place, a nail salon, a dollar Chinese place – God, please not a dollar Chinese place – or a video store.
It doesn’t matter what it will be because you’re going to go. You can’t wait to go.
You keep driving by. You look for the difference, the change, the lack of dirt that you don’t notice anyway.
And nothing changes
Nothing changes for so long that you stop believing
You say “It’s never coming,” and you give up and you laugh at the sign when you’re stopped at the light and don’t have anyone to text and don’t want to look over at the car next to you and you notice the lot, the block
And is it months or days or years later when it pops up
It scares you
A shape – glass and smooth lines and scrubbed metal and parking spaces
It’s there. It happened. The new, and you hadn’t seen it coming. It’s new that you’ve been passing every day. You’re the same you and you haven’t changed but the block has.
There’s no more mud and no more trash and no more dirt and no more signs pounded into the dirt
You’re still driving
You keep going
You never go
By Diane Brown