New Side of Paradise

Layton was a stranger on this end of Kline Avenue. The familiar construction noise, the creature comforts of Mr. Dixon’s store, and the faint red brick offices that most people tended to ignore anyways were nowhere in sight. He recalled the time that Mr. Dixon gave him his first copy of the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The end of that first summer he must have read that book a dozen times over. Mr. Dixon was a friend to his father and always had seemed to have a soft spot in his heart for Layton. The language of Gatsby enthralled Layton in a way that never really left him. From this he formed his own sense of civility, the kind that made him long for small town corner stores instead of the 7/11 that Mr. Dixon owned.

The simplistic illusion of misdirection was the inspiration for today's mid-morning distraction. This was east end, grade A, foreign soil of truly the highest caliber. Layton had taken the same way to get to high school for nearly three years now. Today was different though, something inside him was different. Layton was heading east today, to the unknown parts of a town from which he had lived his whole life. This was the moment he had been waiting for, at least he seemed to think so in this moment. He surveyed his 2003 Toyota Camry for someone to congratulate him on his decision to wander, his eyes fixated on a camera bag in the passenger seat for a moment. He was alone, but he hadn't forgotten to bring his trusty Nykon. There were days Layton thought that camera understood him more than actual people. He found his eyes wandering back to the road now. The sultry grey of the pavement passed building after building of new and unexplored destinations. There were familiarities too from Starbucks to Walmart, civilization was never far from reach, even in the barren jungles of the semi-unknown.

The strangest part of this whole excursion for Layton was that he had no destination in mind. Not a path to follow, nor a plan to stick to. He was just going to wing it.