Zooming along OR-206 E towards Condon, Oregon I spied an abandoned house sitting just off the road. Its boards were weathered with time and it's windows panes were long gone having fallen prey to vandals but its tired, crooked old bones still remained. I climbed out of my car to investigate.
This was once a home. A living place filled with humans who loved, laughed, cried, dreamed. Where were they now?
I climbed gingerly over the bent barbed wire fence and made my way closer. I wondered how old this house was? Time and teenagers had made their mark. Graffiti was everywhere.
A red hand print stood stark against the gaping front door. I abhor graffiti but must admit, I thought this looked cool against the dry, gray boards.
I stepped inside...weary of possible snakes lurking beneath the rotted floor boards. I have as much imagination as I do curiosity. Sometimes it's a curse as I can imagine all sorts of grisly possibilities and often think of the phrase "curiosity killed the cat/kat"...
Vandals had done their job well, marking every naked wall with their wild stamp. I wonder what possessed these people to destroy? Did the naked walls speak too loudly? Did flinging wild bursts of paint dull the haunted echo's of the past? Destruction was everywhere which made the un-shuttered eyes of the house look like fine painted masterpieces placed in graffitied frames.
I could feel the ghosts of those who dwelled here. Feel their distant energy as they looked out onto the wild prairie grasses. I felt an echoing sadness. A loneliness. Perhaps it was this the vandals strove desperately to muffle with their destructive rampage?
I peered into what must of been a bedroom. A small house. Not much room to hold a family. I wish I knew the story.
An old rusted bedspring lay mangled on the living room floor. It stood stark amongst the rotted boards and prairie dust.
Outside the house someone had dragged an old sofa. A plush lair for the partying vandals to sit and celebrate their craftsmanship.
The grasses stood tall against the outside of the house. I did not venture further for fear of snakes. This was rattlesnake country and I had no wish to meet their fangy, slithering acquaintance!
One last look and then I clambered back over the barb wire fence and back into my car, continuing my onward journey to the Painted Hills, leaving the echo's of an unknown past behind.