The Ballad Of The Empty Lot Next To My House

The Decaying Illustrations Of Lauren Marx

Death by Party | The Decaying Illustrations Of Lauren Marx

Let’s face it, everybody hates things that stink. Especially if that stink is along the lines of a decaying animal. Lately a very pungent odor has arisen from the abandoned lot next to my house and it has all my neighbors in a hissy-fit. My inner-Encyclopedia Brown has taken the initiative to investigate. My hope is to expose the culprit and eliminate the smell that has everybody talking.

The first person who is getting my finger pointed at them is the lady with five kids who eats seafood every night. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing bad about feeding your children seafood, especially broiled seafood. With the omega-5 fish oils and high protein content you’re practically insuring a healthy brood. What is wrong is the maggot-infested trash stains I see up and down the sidewalks on my block. I’ve followed the kids in my car recently as they’ve dragged the trashbags down the block and much to my dismay they’ve taken the bags to another abandoned lot around the corner. At least they’ve shown courtesy to their neighbors.

Next on the list of targets is the elephant on the block namely the restaurant that opened next to the empty lot a couple years back. They are already to blame for the bricks and pieces of wood they’ve thrown into the lot as they made way for an outdoor area, who’s to say they wouldn’t one-up themselves by throwing carcasses of the game-y animals they cook into it. My MacGyver instincts set surveillance from my back window and I stayed up all night for a week looking for any employee infractions but no hook, line, and sinker. The business establishment was in the clear which is a bummer because I was looking forward to blackmailing them for some free drinks.

Using my imagination, I explored some other options. One of my most eerie memories of all-time was waking up on a snowy morning, looking out my bedroom window, and seeing a homeless woman take a dump (like an animal) in the snow. However last I checked, I hadn’t seen a homeless person in years anywhere near my home. I dreamt about aliens coming by at night while everybody slept and dropping extraterrestrial fecal matter all over the lot but that is merely impossible considering that at no given moment in the city all people are sleeping; someone would’ve been certain to see it. My intuitions even had me question the odd habits of my strange roommate but that only got me nowhere like talking to him usually does.

When it was all said and done I decided to muster up the courage to take matters into my own hands and journey into the lot myself. In preparation I became lost in the works of Lauren Marx. These pictures engrained the beauty that can be found by decaying animal carcasses. I was preparing for a decapitated fox head with a heavenly halo of insects or the skull of a bull wrapped in the wings of multiple doves and I was ready to accept this hallowed lot as their final resting ground. So I took a shot of whiskey, grabbed my mag-lite, and journeyed to this lot in the middle of a weekday night. I hoped to find death and decay while convincing myself to be alright with it but in end all I found was a colony of muskrats living amidst the brush. Nothing breathes life more than a colony of muskrats and while they’re stinky little creatures I must say that I felt quite content with welcoming these nasty animals into my neighborhood. Sure the block may stink but at least I can go to sleep at night knowing nothing is dying in my immediate vicinity.

By Lou Cervantes

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