I had a dream that all the controversial hotels downtown were built—and about the aftermath of what happened next.
It started with me walking down the street [when] distant jackhammering caused a gargoyle from the last-remaining art-deco building to rattle loose and shatter in front of my feet. There was gridlock traffic, with every other vehicle a concrete truck or a trolley tour-bus. The people on the trolleys were angry because there was nothing to see. Bobby Sax was playing “Taps” somewhere in the distance.
I saw the lady with the brown station wagon—who used to pick up trash—crying. She was overwhelmed by the miniature tornadoes of trash from fast-food restaurants that had been built. There was a tear in the eye of the Green Man. The drummers at Pritchard Park were coughing and gagging because of the soundproof bubble that had been erected over them. The old wig store was now a shop selling bars of gold and silver.
I noticed Mel Gibson walking around with a bunch of thug-looking people carrying boomerangs and brass knuckles. It turns out they were actors here to film the next Road Warrior sequel at different locations of all the failed, clear-cut developments around town.
As I made my way to the Vance Memorial, I noticed the words “R.I.P. Asheville” etched at the bottom of it. Behind it was the old fountain that used to be there. It was filled with blood. Certain City Council members, irresponsible builders and greedy corporate CEOs were dipping their hands in it and walking away with smiles on their faces. Then a little girl with a beautiful smile looked up at me and told me that I was just dreaming.
I woke up and realized that dreams don’t necessarily come true all at once. Unfortunately, we tolerate small changes, and then one day we realize that all the small changes have added up to a large disaster that we never would have tolerated.
I think we need to realize that the demise of this city is directly correlated with our catering to people who are just in it for the money. At the very least, we should try to preserve the city as we know it, in honor of the lady with the orange bags who picked up trash.