While travelling through an unfamiliar area of the city at night, it it easy for one to become quite lost. Though this is an upper-class residential neighbourhood just east of downtown, the streets wind, twist, and turn in upon themselves in a rather chaotic fashion. Mills Park was built in an area of the city where the level of the ground was quite close to the level of the water table. This means that there are many small lakes and ponds. Couple the water features with the age of some of the older houses, and you have a neighbourhood where there are no straight roads.
Though these homes are quite nice, and very lovely to cruise by during the day and gaze upon, there is a sense of forboding and sameness when the fog crawls up at night. Most of the roads have no street sign, and those that do are typically either hidden by trees & shadows, or list only one of the pair of roads at an intersection. There is no naming scheme to the streets in the Mills Park area: no numbers, no themes (such as all names of trees), or even any control over duplication of names. It is rather chaotic. Thus, Thornton Avenue dead-ends in a cull-de-sac, but begins again on the other side of the large yellow home at that end. Gabrial Street is well-lit, and looks to the weary eye like an escape from the hours of wandering about Mills Park, but it is another trick: Gabrial Street turns upon itself in a large “P” shape. Mills Avenue itself is especially tricky—there are three of them—in addition, there is a Mills Street, Mills Parkway, Mills Court, and yes, there are two different (yet perpendicular) streets named Mills Lane.
The streets are narrow and winding, buckled in places where ancient oak and cedar trees have spread large roots under the roadway. The endless clack-clack-clacking of your tires across the red bricks, the fog clouding mind as well as vision, and the ever increasing sense that you would not make it out of there again—much less find your destination—dulls your senses and very will to live.
This chaos among the large homes and tall trees can be quite disorienting. When you cross the intersection of Mills Lane and Mills Lane—yet the last sign you passed said you were on Hopp Court—and when you are certain that you have passed the same area several times—although you have travelled as straight a line as possible—you become quite certain that you have either stepped out of your normal reality, or are becoming quite mad…