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Inspiration from An Abandoned Place

The picture heading up this post was taken back on the fifth. Z moved back to Georgia last month and these abandoned gas pumps and awning aren’t far from her new place. They kept eating at my imagination when I drove by, telling me there was a story there. The story isn’t in the pumps or the awning alone.

It is in the couches.

Who drags old couches to a location that once held a convenience store? Who tears down the convenience store but not the awning and the pumps. It doesn’t show very well, but a retaining wall holding the slope behind where the building sat is still present.

Narrow shot of abandoned gas pumps showing one pump and one of the couches.

I am glad I took the picture above and to the left when I did because the next time I was up there, about a week later, the lot had been cleaned up as the picture below shows. I’ve seen police sitting in the lot as a speed trap.

What I found interesting is the couches were not under the awning. They were used by someone as I saw them moving around the lot. North Georgia in the summer has a lot of two things, hot sun, and rain. Both would make couches out in the open less useful. Rain would make for wet sitting, possibly days after rain depending on soaked through the foam was, and probably a musty and moldy seem. I never saw anyone on them during the day, but if they did the sun would beat down on them.

So why, despite moving around, were they never under the awning.

As for who used them my first two thoughts were a homeless encampment and teenagers out smoking pot and drinking. They are visible from a main road so either such usage would have primarily been at night. Just now writing this, I wonder if younger kids used them as forts for playing Army or Cowboys and Indians.

Do kids even play army or cowboys and Indians anymore? I guess Army is era resistant, but I suspect Cowboys and Indians has probably been replaced by elves and orcs or training dragons. The latter is especially true if my nephews and eldest niece are anything to go by.

In writing terms, I’ve started a story here. I focused on the hesitation to sit down, afraid of the west moldy seat. The sense I attached to the most was smell, the cloud of musty air tinged with the unmistable pot stank that enveloped the main character as she sat down.

It’s amazing that if you let an image stew in your mind, how many words and worlds it can conjure up.


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