Wellington Street is a place you get to know intimately just by living here. The buildings and the shops, though often mismatched in age and design, still somehow fit together. It all just feels like Wellington Street. But it hasn't felt that way lately, and I think it has put me in a mood. To be honest, this place really doesn't truly feel like itself much of the time, outside of when it is rainy or foggy, or sometimes at night during the dead of winter.
But I've been thinking a lot lately about a lot of things. Since the dream, things have simply felt off, but I don't think the dream is the source of it. I walked around the neighborhood, which is still mostly vacant at this point, and noted all the new buildings. Despite everything, it seems everyone is renovating, and I can't help but feel sad about it.
It feels like a place that needs something to be off for it to be right. There needs to be a vacant lot where a house once stood for ages, and the bar needs to have sticky vinyl seats that need repair but never get repaired. But the bar is new with new seats, and the vacant lot has the skeleton of s new building.
It is just something that makes sense when you have lived here long enough, and it is something that upsets you when you see things change.
Even as a child, I knew that this was a place for monsters and terrible, little things, and yet that never seemed to keep me away. I grew up with the tales of this place, and when the Surgeon first started hurting people I started keeping track of my friends and making sure that they were traveling safely. It seemed easy, those changes, and I still keep those habits today.
It isn't like I am not scared of this place or the things in it, but there just seems to be something so wrong about the way things are changing.
After the issue with the mold two years ago I guess it makes sense that a lot of changes would have to be made. A lot of people moved and never came back, and you can't just keep things as they were when you suddenly have a quarter of the residences lying empty and unused. But I almost wish those houses remained unoccupied. It seemed like during the mold, there were less incidences of people getting hurt, though maybe people were just better at keeping up with one another.
I think that is what really has changed, and that is why all the changes bother me. Some people died, and it caused the rest of us to suddenly take notice of the people who never left. We had all gone through something awful, and suddenly those people we hated for having parties until three in the morning were suddenly the same people who's parties we stayed at until three in the morning.
I remember soon after the cleanup was finished we ended up meeting up with a few of our neighbors to catch up and see how everyone was doing. They had ugly white lights strung about, and the lawn chairs were wet from the rain night before. The burgers they cooked were overdone and they didn't really have much to say, but somehow that was okay.
We had survived something, and even if we didn't do it together, something about everyone knowing someone who died changed things for us.
The new people don't get that, and I have more than once been told that the elderly around here are solemn and even antagonistic. It is fair, but not fair at the same time you know? We should have healed enough to welcome the changes, even after two years.
I just want things to feel like they used to, but that isn't possible in the broad scheme of things. The more things change the more they stay the same is one of those phrases I've always despised, but it really seems to touch on it.
I want there to be more people here. I remember what it was like a few years ago when everyone was getting their groceries delivered and no one waved at one another, myself included. I lost a friend of mine named Ashley, who's parents let me stay with them quite a bit after my mom died. I didn't make any attempts to be friendly for a while after that.
The changes going on here are probably for the best, but I also remember how quiet things were for a few weeks after things calmed down. It was like the myths suddenly weren't running into us as much, and most were satisfied enough with just minding their own business in those old abandoned houses, where no one seemed willing to tread.
I remember going to the beach and just being shocked at how few people there were. When I go to the beach, I expect to see a lot of people, a lot of life, but that just wasn't the case. The beach was empty save a few old persons, looking out towards the water.
I sat on the grass, watching a storm roll in as the others just sat there, staring out at the storm as well. The clouds were black and nasty, and in the distance I could already see a wall of rain readying for landfall. I went back to my car and got an umbrella, but by the time I got back the old people were gone. At first I though they had just left, as strange as it was. But the main parking lot was were I had parked, and there had been no one there.
I looked out to the waters, watching the storm, when I realized that there was someone floating there on their back, looking up at the sky through choppy waters. I realized there was more of them too, some further out than others. They all just seemed content to lay like that, floating like corpses, even though as they stayed there the waters got worse and worse.
The water started to churn, and at first I thought it was the wind but the wind was steady. And as I looked out at them, I watched as one by one, piece by piece, they simply sank, or were maybe pulled down into the water.
I called 911, and though the officer took me seriously, she and the rest of the dive crew couldn't find a trace of the people outside of their blankets left on the beach and their footprints going into the water.
The police still never found the bodies. There was nothing left. But the worst part was they weren't from around here. They were visiting on vacation. And it just doesn't feel wrong. Like, it is sad, but it makes sense for this place, and it somehow makes more sense than a new house on an empty lot.
I told my dad about the dream I had, and it seemed to upset him quite a bit. He asked me over and over if I was okay, if my medicine was doing its job and if I was going to hurt myself. I kept telling him that I was alright, that I knew it was just a dream, and that I just wanted to tell him about it. He has a habit of looking for a way to fix things, instead of just listening to what I am saying.
We changed my sleep medicine, and my doctor feels confident the new concoction should work for me. I haven't had a dream since then, and overall I still feel good about how I am sleeping, though we both agree it is better to be safe than sorry.