I am going to be homeless. I don't mean in the traditional sense, with no fixed address, not knowing where I am going to sleep or where my next meal is coming from. I have a roof over my head, but the town I have always thought of as home is about to cease to exist.
The world is dotted with ghost towns and ruins. Relics of civilizations long gone can be found in almost any pile of rocks, it seems, if one knows what to look for. It seems towns and cities are like people: living creatures with personalities, uniqueness, strengths, failings, wisdom, foolishness, with heartbeats and arteries, complex brains and nervous systems, with eyes and ears tuned on the rest of the world; living creatures that, like all living creatures, have to die. Death can come quickly, as with the city of Pompei, forever preserved in ash as monument to unexpected tragedy, but it can also come slowly, like scirosis of the liver. The liver regenerates, and every chronic alcoholic has a window of opportunity during which, if he or she can quit drinking, he or she can keep living. However, by this point, alcohol has such a strong grip that often the afflicted individual will be unable to change his or her habits and will continue to drink until the liver is beyond all repair. Death by failure to correct a bad habit, a lifetime of minor poisonings and here we are, her children, facing homelessness.
Because this town was our mother, and as much as we may have grown to hate her, all of her failings, all of her pettiness, her nastiness, all of the times she tried so hard to drag us down with her, the fact remains that she raised us. She sheltered, fed, and taught us and now she is dying by her own hand.
Some say good riddance, but not me. I want to go home again, check her into rehab, give her all my love, and help her through this. I can't watch her die a Jane Doe, because with her will die my ability to say, "This is where I come from, this is who I am. This is my home."