This portion of Market Street that extended beyond City Hall to the east was not as torn up and broken down as other parts of the former great city. In its day, the area had received its fair share of traffic from vehicles and pedestrians alike. In the dark days, not many people had reason to venture these old streets. The large skyscrapers dwindled down and most buildings were not but merely a few stories in height. Some antiquated light posts even still remained standing upright in their original positions. With a fair share of imagination, one might be able to envision the hustle and bustle that had once taken place along the road.
“Did you ever sit and pretend like all this never happened? Wonder what it might be like if it wasn’t like this? I mean look at it all. It must have been pretty amazing once. You could just walk the streets without fear of being attacked by a monster. The air was pure and the sky was so clear back then. Their lives were so easy. Sometimes I wish it was still like that. I wish I could’ve lived like that.”
“I pity them.”
Charlie was astonished. “How? How could you pity people who lived in such a wonderful place? In such a wonderful world?”
“What did their lives mean, though? What did they do with all that luxurious peace? It was all wasted. It all meant nothing.”
“That has to be the worst thing I’ve ever heard anyone say! Without them and the people before them – where we would be now?”
“And maybe that is exactly what I mean.”
“You’re blaming them for the way the world is? All this just happened to them, I doubt they planned to change the world from the way it was to,” Charlie’s arms raised in a V, “this.”
“One way or another, it would have to be their fault. Either they wasted this place and destroyed it on their own or your oh-so holy God got so pissed off at their bullshit, that he just laid waste to the whole damned thing. Either way, it’s their fault.”
“You’re really depressing. Even for a depressing place like this, you’re depressing.”
“I’m a realist. I’m sorry if that’s depressing.”
They didn’t speak to each other for a little while after that. Charlie was visibly downed by his inability to fathom a world that she would want to restore and Ark really simply didn’t care. They strolled rather peacefully and quietly down Market Street, passed the old shops and centers of commerce. It was almost like a time capsule that had simply been painted over in the omnipresent earth tones. Charlie seemed to pass by in wonder while Ark passed by in his contempt.