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There is a neighborhood right after the Marathon gas station. Right after a left turn off Lake Avenue, with crumbling white stone steps stuck in the side of a small hill.
These steps are now off-center with the house that sits beyond them. Driving past the house you would never notice. Never care to glance over and take notice of such a small detail as this.
When I saw this set of steps it was in the middle of summer. The grass was already bent in the regiment of heat, the steps already stuck in their ageless balance of disappearing into the hill in the causality of time.
I couldn't stop staring. Couldn't stop imagining how long it had taken for those steps to sink in such symmetry with the earth. I could only imagine great basins in the western parts of our country, how the earth, though hollowed, appears pristine, appears achingly natural.
I was busy remembering how my great grandmother would stop in the middle of her kitchen in Arlington, Virginia, as cemented as those steps, knowing where she hid her favorite glass for her rose sun tea.
I could also see the gracelessness of a man carrying his first wife over those steps on what was supposed to be the happiest day of their lives.
So I was stuck. Stuck looking at the smallest set of stone steps in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Stuck realizing that the earth is always taking back what wasn't there to begin with.