Nobody lives here. The houses are empty, although the grass is tidy. The porches are wide enough for baskers to lean against. There is music; there is poetry; there is enough food and enough generators and enough children here to remind us of who we used to be. People arrive on a ferry and there are dogs here and babies and overpriced ice-cream and kayaks. There is a composting center with goats and chickens and plenty of tools for the passersby to play with. There is miniature golf; there is a museum. There is a gift shop that accepts credit cards and traveler’s cheques; there are fathers and loners; there are enough families to remind those without how without they are. There is a playground and an arts & crafts center; there is a brothel; there is an outside pub; there is live music. There is water; there are benches. There is a carnival of French rides.
There is one hundred and seventy acres of land but nobody lives here.
And that man with a cane and discolored legs tells the other man with whitened beard and kind heart that this land is for people to wander in; there is enough housing on the other side of the island.
But there seems to be a forgotten mention of those without housing and those without family and those without enough paper in wallets or pockets to pay for food purchased off trucks for more money than is made for an hour of work.
Nobody lives here and yes this place feels magical. It is vast and free and has the aroma of something made of patchwork’d memories. Maybe one day, they will unhinge the front doors and let people in who need permanent housing. Maybe one day, the ice cream here will cost less than $5 for five licks and a belly ache. Maybe one day, there will be more magical places such as this that encourage the wanderers to stay. We could all use a place to get lost in more often, don’t you think?