There’s a housing project there now, a line of multi-million-dollar homes and Mercedes and Lexus weighting down driveways along the bayou where I remember walking with Christy as we strolled the woods, my parents still at home, the cold pinching us as we crammed hands into pockets and curled toes in shoes, all the while walking, always walking, enjoying nature and the frigidity of the day and the rawness of winter and the comfort of beloved friends strolling, always strolling, comfortable and casual and cold.
They’ve built houses there now, many of them—most of them gaudy and audacious and terribly offensive—or at least too expensive and too showy for this dense thicket of second-growth woods where wildlife teems and cars once were few but now are many and the world was as it should be but is now as it should have been.
But it’s not that way now, at least as it should be, at least as it was—no, not at all, not with the weekenders and their expensive cars and their uncaring attitudes and their money and their homes, all so diligently destroying what once was beautiful but now is barren, used, abused, a world where nature once reigned but where now even the residents care less about how it should be and more about how they want it to be, a place where decades ago I romped and played and hunted, where fewer decades ago I walked and talked and enjoyed, and where now the invaders live—or at least they pretend to live, for they don’t truly live but instead they exist, reside in meaningless lives and expensive homes as they ignore the beauty they destroyed just so they can have a home for the weekends and have a house to brag about and have an expensive construct to smear in the faces of others.
Few remember because so few survive, but I remember, and my parents remember, and I know Christy remembers—among others. We know what it was like, with the bobcats and cougars and bears, with the raccoons and skunks and opossums, with the quail and doves and hawks and eagles, with the snakes and alligators, none of which these new residents want, none of which the weekenders will tolerate, all of which our current invaders want to destroy and eradicate and subjugate and extirpate, the nature of the place violated and manipulated and manhandled and changed.
I’ve made it my mission to exterminate these foul fiends, to buy back the land they stole from nature, to make their pathetic little suburb a memory in favor of what was and what should be and what will be again, to wipe out this offense so the world can be as it should be, and I will give up all I have and all I will have and all I hope to have in order to make that real, so I can reclaim what’s been stolen, so I can take back what should never have been taken, so I can make the world the place it should always have been, the place it once was, the place it will be again.
I love the bayou. I love the way it used to be. I love the way it should be. I love the way it will be again.
Yes, I love the bayou. And I intend to make the bayou what it was, what it should have been, what it will be.
Yes, I love the bayou. And I’ll make it glorious once again, even if it kills me.