How staggeringly hopeful language is. Driving my son to work in the early morning, through the light industrial area, I spied Best Engineering and Heartfelt Furniture. I've driven past them many times before, but this time, with the sun a pale rose and Best Engineering still shut to the world, it struck me that without Best and without Heartfelt what would those businesses be? Don't those words reach out to grasp your elbow, don't they look you wetly in the eyes? Aren't they the receptacles of dreams, the stuff of fairytales? (Is that Pinocchio I hear in there?)
On the other hand, perhaps Mr Best owns the engineering firm and never thought twice about calling it what he did; even so, there's still surely something marvellously hopeful about Best Engineering. It's like pinning your flag to the mast, naming a son. And if there was (is) a Mr Best, he must have smiled to himself when the sign was hoisted over the roller door. You can't deny the felicitousness of the surname - the blessing it gives.
On a bit further, and there's that property on the corner where the gangs used to live, or at the very least they lived in the property behind it. It was hard to tell. I do remember a black flag and, I don't think I'm imagining it, barbed wire. But here it is now, all cleaned up, and on the high fence there's a real estate sign the height of a large child with red letters that cry out: 'Location, Location, Location.'
Language is largely about hope, surely, and about wishes and dreams and stories and what we want things to be. Otherwise we'd just have pointed.