Here are the streets of Winchester today. Just kidding ha ha. This really is Venice but Winchester is hot on Venice’s heels with the waters rising and rising, hiding entirely the eyebrow-shaped arch of the bridge by the Post Office, coursing fast toward our Upper Mystic Lake and on out to the insatiable ocean.
When the floods of two weeks ago receded, they left a sorry sight: a thousand plastic bag parts clinging to tree branches even ten and twelve feet off the ground. The improvised neighborhoods outside Tijuana are strewn with this same harvest. So are many barren hillsides in Israel where Palestinian people have set up their woefully inadequate tents and lean-tos. If extra-terrestrials touched down for a quick tour of the planet they’d report us as a strange and warlike people drowning in our own waste.
We’re spoiled of course as Americans. When word went out last night that the people in certain communities should not flush their toilets for at least 12 hours they stood saucer-eyed reporting this fact to the TV reporters. We never think of what we leave behind; we’ve never really had to, with the services that have come to feel like ours by right.
I took the above picture just a month before Venice was once again flooded and in the days after saw an account of that most recent event in a British newspaper. In reporting the story, it described two American women, suitcases on their heads, trudging across St. Mark’s Square in knee-high water and – what else? – sobbing loudly.