By Maria Jerinic

January 4, 2016


Construction resumes in my Las Vegas neighborhood. The trauma of recession recedes. Now pick-up trucks, cranes, and other wheeled monstrosities I cannot name block the streets as custom homes begin to take shape. “That’s great,” people say. “Just think of your property values.” “No more of those ugly empty lots.” 

Except that I love those lots, full of rock piles and scrubby bushes that create explosions of green when it’s cool and wet. I love that night here is deep and dark with only a hint of the Strip’s glow on the horizon. I love that gaudy luxury homes sit across from dilapidated ranch houses surrounded by chain link fences and wary pit bulls. I love that there is no HOA to reprimand me when I let my California pepper grow wild, weighed down by its branches, creating a perfect hiding place for those suburban nuisances of lizards, rabbits, and coyotes.

I love the irregularity, the imperfection of this place. In this city of artifice, where there is attention to the last detail in the recreation of Paris or New York or someone’s idea of an Italian village, I live in a spot that has been forgotten, abandoned, allowed to take on its own shape. This is my secret kingdom, guarded by weeds, which have been left roadside to burst into flowering sentinels who welcome me as I drive home.


Photo: “What’s left of the weed” provided by Waferboard via Creative Commons license.

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