I knew I had to go there eventually, 12205 Imperial Avenue, a kind of impervious Court with no Kings, Queens, Princes or Princesses...unless you want to count the 11 women killed there by the "Cleveland Strangler" aka Anthony Edward Sowell (but every press outlet loves nicknames, no?). These women were all Princesses at one time, to their daddies if no one else.
The site of the serial killing spree is tucked away in a somewhat crummy (but not altogether ghetto) neighborhood in Cleveland called Mt. Pleasant. Irony quotient tops the charts in this pop culture song and strangle hit parade, including the victims not being so-well after encountering Sowell.
I turned right off of 131st and started searching house numbers, looking for what? A grey-green hovering haze of unabashed evil, a spooky mix of sight and sound? Really what I wanted was yellow police tape, flapping, reflecting, witnessing. To bring me visual evidence of authorities intervening, finally. Then I remembered hearing that the house was torn down, the structure gone, no more bad smells the neighbors finally noticed.
Instead I saw a pleasant (that word again) empty lot (in this day's sunshine anyway), not trash-strewn, not tire tossed upon, not ominous and foreboding. It was just a lot, covered with straw and a few weeds. The sight of the ultimate degradation and banishment to violent memories for Crystal, Tishana, Leshanda, Michelle, Tonia, Nancy, Amelda, Telecia, Janice, Kim and Diane.
May their spirits grow peace, underneath the sheltering straw.