Maybe it was my dreams last night. Maybe it was some odd recollection of that melancholy mid winter feeling when the world gets small. Maybe I saw a pine tree and that did it.

There was a little '70s development just north of my town's high school. We called them apartments, but that was a pretty California definition of them. Row houses, two stories all of them, divided up into rentals. A couple of my friends moved in and out of there, symptoms of parents splitting up, single parents changing jobs, whatever.

The grouping was only a couple blocks of actual property, but it had a snaking network of little 'streets.' Undivided, no lines, narrow, probably some self-imposed 5 mph limit. No signs, just paved winding ways to make the place feel bigger.

Whoever started the development planted a ton of pines. Big ones on the edge by the real streets, and many more smaller in the development. Gave a sense that you didn't really know what was around the corner. I never really mapped the whole place's layout in my brain.

The little apartments all had parking spots, some of them in car ports.

In one, a huge, green, mid '50s Cadillac sedan not unlike the one above. I don't remember much about it other than that it had the fuel filler under the taillight, if I'm not getting things mixed up.

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It always parked towards the curb, I never felt comfortable enough to really peer around the whole thing. I didn't ever feel settled in that development.

There was one summer when I was always over there visiting a friend of mine, always biking past that Cadillac, never really understanding how a person could own something so big, so formerly grand. I could just barely imagine the withered old man who still pushed it along, never restored.

And now I can't get it out of my brain, its vast sculpted incomprehensibility.

Photo Credit: Cadillac via OldCarBrochures