|Downtown Temple Valley|
They're open now but it was just days ago that the few remaining shops on what's left of our near ghost town of a shopping street were all completely shuttered. It had happened before and it happened again. The bike shop, the beauty parlor, the bakery were all closed. There wasn't a sign of life anywhere but after seeing it time and again, I was now immune to the fear that this haunting specter could instill.
This was Obon. That's the annual holiday period when the people of Temple Valley, like everyone else across the Land of the Rising Sun, return to their familial homesteads en masse to meet the visiting spirits of their departed ancestors (or else maybe go to Hawaii).
Stepping out into the dead quiet scene that met my eyes not a week ago, I was filled with a sense of excitement. I was almost giddy. Walking those silent streets made me feel as if I was the last living person in all of Temple Valley. I could do just about anything I wanted and by "anything I wanted" I mean I could pirouette my way over to the other side of the train tracks without worrying about anybody critiquing the imperfect form or execution of my baletic whirls.
Once there I could venture into Esplan, the best boulangerie in town, and get my hands on some mouthwatering crescent rolls. I could carry the still warm buttery pieces of heaven home in open view without having to worry a bit about causing any trade frictions with our local bread purveyor.
Alas it was not meant to be. Upon my arrival en pointe at the portals of Esplan, I spied hanging on the door a beautifully penned note on parchment saying they were closed for the week. My dream had crumbled to smithereens right there on the sidewalks of the street folks around here refer to as their own little Ginza. No doubt the bakers of Esplan were all on holiday in Paris. I hope they aren't too disappointed when they discover everyone there has the entire month of August off.
Another "They're Back" post: They're Back