Kelly, New Mexico, Ghost Town

The light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off in Kelly, New Mexico.

It’s now a bonafide ghost town. I was wearing flip flops when I visited a few months ago, and so I walked carefully, mincing around gravel glinting with shards of brown and green glass. Shattered remnants of opportunistic parties.

Yellow agave was in flower, the air was hot, musky, rotting. I walked along the broad stone foundation of what had been someone’s house, where the gravel had been graded. I realized it had been the path to someone’s front door. Once.

I imagined I was walking towards my house, and I further imagined that it was getting dark, the sun was setting and that crazy New Mexico sky was darkening to even deeper blue. The house, with its walls magically reassembled, would be fairly glowing, all lit up from the inside. Someone would be fixing dinner.

The fragility of the physical things we invest in, with everything we have, but especially with meaning. They become empty and abandoned so quickly. And then we say they are home to no one but the ghosts.

 

Kelly New Mexico Ghost Town

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Alison J. Stein

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