We wait. On Sundays downtown is dead excepting the random bus rider or occasional lost entity swirling about old gray Dayton. You know how sometimes things are colors? Well, thatís how to describe my town; as a color(grey). And dull. And, wonderful, in the sickest way possible. When it rains (always on Sunday) you can smell it. That smell of not-quite-a-city mingling with the spongy earth below it. The scent of a place built entirely on hope. Perhaps this place was constructed by a half interested but well-meaning child who simply gets up and walks away, its attention grabbed by something else more immediate and important. Itís mostly the waiting I canít bear, that droning hum that rattles you from the gut and the heart. You need to leave; and you might for a while; but somehow you stay. You linger here, and here lingers within you. Dayton is the city that never quite made it. Itís like thereís not enough steam for the engine to leave the station. I think that this seemingly repressive environment somehow forces me to press on, to keep writing, to keep play music, to keep living and ,dammit, to swim in it all. I love to walk downtown after it rains. My usual route is straight north on Main St., crossing thru the secret park that separates Fifth and Fourth Streets. The secret park is weird because itís so sculpted and pretty urban to even resemble any sort of nature, but I like it anyway. Then, I continue down Fifth past the Greyhound station, which is the loneliest place in the city. I usually donít stop there. Sometimes I stop in the music store and play expensive guitars until they kick me out, but itís closed on Sunday. So, I find myself further down Fifth St. in the Oregon District. This neighborhood is utterly sleazy but I love all of it, the bars, the dirt, the lonely people...this place is very weird. It Ďs where extremes meet head-on. There are yuppie bars and porn shops, fast food and gourmet coffee. The Oregon used to be the Ďhipí place is town. I suppose for some it still is if your into the bars and such. Years ago the Network (an awesome record store and show space) was nearby, and there were shows at the now defunct Hummerís. Plus, you could just go there on the weekends and most likely run into someone you know. It buzzed-it was alive. Itís not like that now, today, Sunday. I stared at the horribly cracked sidewalk and the battered red bricks of Fifth Street. They hold these stories well, I think. They eat these grey secrets. Why does the air always seem metallic and thick on these Sunday afternoons? I reached out and it suddenly was heartbreakingly simple. The sky separated and I felt the first drop. It came like lead.
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