Back in 1992, I lived in the white trash neighborhood of the bad side of town. I rented a $180 apartment above an old electrician's store front, officially zoned as office space . The heater's pilot light never stayed lit; and the orange shag carpet hid a million dead fleas woven into the pile. But, the beer distributor two blocks away delivered for free, the pizza shop across the street baked good pepperoni balls, and the record shop kitty-corner from my front door special ordered LPs for me. So, it wasn't all bad. I'd stay up throughout the night, contemplating if more insects crawled through the soil of the cemetery visible from my 'living room' window or beneath the pavement under the dumpster of the butcher shop up the road. By 8am, these philosophical queries had me a little loopy. A twenty minute ride to my pharmacy tech. job downtown became my depleted dreamscape. I squinted past the Jeri Curl streaks, scanning the never-changing urban decay. Until one day, in a field of patchy sod, a goat bent its neck down to graze. But, then I realized it was only an abandoned shopping cart in the parking lot of a discount/close-out department store.

- Melissa Sullivan