Timber Stents and Termite Holes.
There might have been a better way to describe the feeling, but I just went with comparing it to feeling alive inside. A longing for the love. Like walking around your block at night. A new world not seen during the day. The time of night where everybody has something to get away with. These are the things I think about at three in the afternoon wishing it was two in the morning. It was Saturday. I debated to go to church the next morning. I hadn’t been for a number of years besides the receiving of ashes, so I figured what’s another few years before the eyes of the Lord. Everybody wants to feel apart of something bigger than them, something they can get lost in. something with a purpose. Especially in a small town in Northeastern Pennsylvania. A town where it seemed like there was something bigger to fight for, just nobody knew what it was they happened to be fighting for. Where blood and coal dust would get you further than how much money you had in your wallet. A steady fluid motion about it all. One could correlate the fresh jazz of that beat of the small town street. Chevy after Chevy, Ford after Ford, there was something kicking up in the air that made me think what it meant to be a man. The importance of dying for your country, the importance of standing up for what was right. Westside they called it. A section of town God forgot about. Deep rooted in a faith that one can bring to the table and meet in the middle just like his father, and his father. Everybody believes, everybody breathes.
And with one swing of the gavel and a false hand of God it could be gone in an instant.
Corruption within the city had been something so deep that its roots touched the ceilings of abandon coal shafts beneath it. Different little odds and loose ends tied by not what you knew but who you knew. Its just the way it worked. It was almost as if no one questioned it. There was no hope. No light at the end of the tunnel. My buddy Frankie was murdered in cold blood a few years ago, stripped and thrown down a gorge. Rumor had it that Jimmy Hoffa’s body was down an abandon coal mine out in Pittston, but the methane gas was too toxic for people to go down there. That’s what it was like, so close but so out of reach. Fallen in line with all the other bar stool tales. Words and then forgotten. This is how these people lived. So much faith. This was my home.
Photograph and text by Parker Reinecker