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Across town there’s a ghost of progress; it is polite to call it is a ghost, though it might be overstating its importance. Once upon a time people worked there to propel the world forward (and no one cared about the price of gasoline as long as it didn’t go above a dime a gallon and what the hell is a greenhouse anyway) and they didn’t take no for an answer; and blistering fire, Howard Roark’s Gehenna, burned in sheets like Hephaestus himself were the foreman—but now there is no smoke and there’s no fire and all anyone can see is trees reclaiming rust with the occasional update as to which graffiti artist is brave enough to climb a structure no one has kept up in forty years. The air’s cleaner now they say, which given that someone can walk to his car in a white shirt and have it be just as white at the end of the walk as at the beginning means that they are probably right, but the quiet in this place and the grass breaking through concrete seems like an pitiful monument to the bedrock that build the neighborhoods around it twenty – thirty, maybe—miles around it.

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