Monday, March 29

years of nothing

you can't expect places to stay the same once you turn your back on them. even the smallest bits of your life manage to slip away almost as soon as you blink into tomorrow morning. it would be sad enough to go back and find the campus full of completely different students, different professors, and a different vibe.
but it's much sadder to go back and find an empty shell. no students, no classes. nothing but a few utility vehicles and a lot of faded security tape. signs everywhere testifying to the pointlessness of these few acres of former academia.
it was autumn, 2005, when the University of Plymouth announced they were abandoning this place in Exmouth. there's not much on the internet about the whole situation. this is just a small community. a little seaside town where I happened to live for a year. not exactly the setting for globally significant news, I guess. but I found this article from five years ago. the following italics are excerpted from it.
"The decision has left the whole student community heartbroken..."
Councilors said the economic and cultural impact would be devastating.
Mark Cleary added that the university would work with the Exmouth community "to find a future for the site that will minimise the impact of the university leaving the town..."
four and a half years later, nobody really knows what is going to become of this place. two weeks ago there was a random American girl wandering around taking photographs, pulling really old memories out of her head and comparing them to all this boarded-up emptiness. that was the library. there was the hall where Creative Writing class was held. and the refectory, where she used to buy little bottles of strawberry-flavored milk for 35p.
it's not that people don't care. they do. but even after so much time, it seems like nothing has been done. you can't stay angry forever about things changing.

and I wish I could do something. and I know wishing isn't enough.

what would I do, anyway? I can't put things back the way they were. nobody can.

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