Laurie Lane

There is nothing special about Laurie Lane.

All the little white houses are on one side of the street, all cramped together in a single file with no elbow room. The fences that divide yard from yard are practically nonexistent. The view from one window often looks into a room in the house next door. The poor buildings must not even be able to breathe. 

There is a large hill opposite of the army of houses, gently sloping upwards away from the street. A tall blockade of wood keeps the possibly-loose dirt confined, preventing it from tumbling down and soiling the space of residents across the road. The fledgeling heads of curious grass had been attempting to poke their heads out into the sunshine that beat down, forming minuscule cracks in the wood panels… but as soon as the residents realized that this was the case, they broke out the wood glue. All was safe once more.

The hill is lined with trees- sparse, looming pine trees that are scattered across the dry ground, all the way to the top of the little universe that is Laurie Lane. But that is the end of trees; any other green object with leaves is hardly large enough to be a miniature shrub. There is never any shade. There will always be heat. It is never a surprise when we have to put out a fire that has erupted on the hillside on a summer day.

Even the insects hide for their lives.

There is nothing in the Laurie Lane woods. There is no space between the Laurie Lane houses. Laurie Lane is a desert in a rainforest of a neighborhood.

Welcome to Droughtland, where everything is a haze.

Yet, I always see her- this one strangely brilliant creature making her way down the road with a definite purpose but without definite meaning. It is as if she can see something that none of us are able to, it is like she knows something we do not. I sometimes find myself wondering if she is from the forest herself, the way she leaps and dances across the burning pavement with no hesitation or second thought.

But that is impossible. Because there is nothing in those woods, there is no space between the houses. We are a desert, we are a drought, we are a universe. The hill is contained, the fires are controlled, the insects are no more.

There is nothing special about Laurie Lane.

Read Coyotes can’t take the heat

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