The street where I live?
Imagine if Charles Dickens described a typical working class neighborhood, but in the Midwest. And in 2021. Then, Thomas Kincaid paints the street, but he’s been disillusioned and is in a bad mood.
That’s what a painting of my street would look like.
I’m just here, on my street and mostly in my bedroom. Nearly always.
I did have a few outings in the past week or so.
But first I want to talk about our street.
Our street is an island unto itself.
We’re not part of a connected neighborhood, we are just a cul-de-sac with about 40 houses obviously built by the same builder back in 1952. All of the houses are brick, mostly cape cod, but there are a handful of squatty ranches.
We have a park behind our side of the street. I use the term “park” loosely. What we have behind us is a large swath of land that appears to have last been attended to during the time of the first moon landing. Not that I’m complaining. I like looking out my backyard into a forest.
I’m really not sure what is behind the houses on the other side of the street.
I know there isn’t a street back there or anything. I think their backyards have the same view as ours, but their view isn’t of a park.
Anyway, we have one neighbor who stands out.
I’ve become obsessed with checking the house 3 doors down and across the street. You know, the side next to the “not park”.
In the evenings and at night, the other houses are lit up in various degrees. They all either have a soft golden glow from light bulbs or the blue glow of a television. I can see one upstairs window that has a dark purple glow. At first, I assumed it must be a black light in a teenager’s bedroom, but then I remembered it’s not 1976. Still, not out of the ordinary.
Then, there is the house 3 doors down and across the street.
They have curtains up, but unless they’re made from lead, I don’t think curtains would help much.
The light that comes from their living room is like the blaze of a thousand suns.
It looks bright and clinical like they’re setting up an operating room. I don’t think I could explain how odd this looks. Also, it looks goddamn uncomfortable. I mean, I feel like I have to shade my eyes a little from 3 doors down. And across the street. I can’t imagine what the light must be like in their living room.
I’m actually mildly concerned about them. We don’t talk to neighbors, we keep to ourselves. I want to go introduce myself to them and explain about regular lamps and light bulbs. But during the day, holy shit, my eyesight is bad enough. I don’t need sunburned retinas.
Okay, so I got that out of the way. I figured since I’ve been obsessing about the lighting, I might as well tell you about the absurdly bright house in my neighborhood.
I keep trying to come up with reasons why you’d have your house lit up like that. I am sure there is a good reason. I just can’t think of a good reason. I can only think up weird reasons.
And that took a lot longer than I thought.
I’ll just tell you about one of my outings now, I’ll save the trips to the vet and the hospital for later.
My birthday was last week and since we’re still isolating, we aren’t getting together with family the way we do for birthdays.
Instead, this year, Randy and I met my parents and my baby sister at a local cemetery for a walk.
Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum is stunningly beautiful, regardless of time of year. It’s also huge, so we could walk together, a safe distance apart, and avoid the other humans.
We walked around a lake and over a little stone bridge to an island. There were swans in the lake and turtles resting on rocks at the edge of the lake. Other than the mausoleums and grave stones, the place looks like a fairy tale.
We startled some turtles and they jumped into the lake. We stood at the edge of the water and watched the swans glide along. At one point, their necks intertwined.
And things quickly progressed from there. It’s spring time.
The time of year when a young swan’s fancy turns to…well, the swan right next to him.
Mom: Are they fighting?
Me: Nooooo, mom. No. I don’t think they’re fighting.
Baby sister: Oh for god’s sake. Let’s go.
Me: What? It’s spring time. It’s natural.
Baby sister: C’mon. They’re just right there, out in the open.
Me: Do we need to have a talk about the birds and the bees? I mean, there’s no better time. We have an actual bird as a visual aid.
Turns out, mom and baby sister had no interest in watching live action swan porn, so we turned to leave.
We noticed how very much swan and goose poop there was on that little island. So, walking back, instead of taking in the gorgeous, if somewhat gothic, scenery, we were skipping around goose poop. Or swan poop. I’m not an expert in bird poop. Other than they seem to do a lot of pooping.
The best part, however, was the present my sister gave me. She painted a picture of Alan Rickman on a flower pot for me. My sister is so talented and always comes up with the most unique gifts.
Since I can’t violate my neighbor’s privacy and show you a picture of the house that glows like it’s guiding ships to the harbor, I will instead share a picture of my new flower pot.