Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Word Wednesday: The Suburbs

This Word Wednesday brings you a little piece I wrote after returning home from holiday! I have a love hate relationship with the suburbs; I love those moments dreamy light filtered childhood nostalgia, and a lot of people I love still live here with me, but at the moment I feel like I'm outgrowing the place. I'm getting restless, probably because of all the travel plans I'm making.  And not the mention that where I live is so damn far from where I work! Commuting is only good for listening to podcasts, catching up on my ever growing reading list (and checking Facebook way too often).  Otherwise, it sucks.

Anyway, Happy Word Wednesday! Enjoy :)

Sometimes I just can't stand the suburbs. I sit on my porch, sucking on an icy pole or painting my tonails, and look out over the rolling cement paths, the triangles of rooves sprawled out across the hills, bricks laid over the earth that once held trees, that once held birds, that once made the oxygen for us to breath, using up all of that dangerous excess carbon. People think it's ok to cut down the trees because some of them can afford to put solar panels on their rooves. I don't think so.

At least in the country you can see the stars, and even the dirt feels cleaner, and you can breathe in the air without coughing (unless someone is smoking a cigarette nearby, which is dangerous anyway because smoking is a fire hazard, amongst other things). You can absorb the moisture in the air through your tongue and the moisture from the soil through the skin between your toes, and your bones feel soft, soaked in sun shine fresh water, and everything seems to move more slowly but it all has an underlying purpose.

At least in the city there is always someone doing something; you can learn so much and feel so much all in one go. You walk down the street, and it feels beautiful even though it smells like piss and fried onions. There is always music, buskers playing acoustic guitars or casio keyboards, drums made from wooden crates or old paint buckets, harmonicas or boom boxes. Some of them just sing, releasing the notes and words from their lungs like doves into the night. Something is happening in the jazz bar on the corner, in the bookshop that stays open until 11pm, in the restaurant, behind the red velvet curtain, in the McDonalds rest room. People are fighting, people are crying, people are shooting up and people are falling in love. Everything speeds and pulses like veins with light and laughter and sobs and music and energy.

But the suburbs. The suburbs are the Elephant in the travelling circus; all dressed up but confined to a cage only slightly larger than her enormous skeleton. The streets are littered with clusters of trees, but there aren't enough leaves to remove all of that exhaust, you can still hear the roar of the cars on the bitumen and it's louder than a bird's cry. Not far from the park the main strip has a few shops, a Millers and a Target and a Salvos. It has a library and a movie theatre and three different restaurants that all serve variations of Asian Cuisine.

As I stare out over my own unfolding suburb, I realise that I live in a hybrid-land, a place that wants the best of both city and country, but instead has ended up some decrepit old lady on speed; so much energy, but nowhere to channel it into because she cannot even leave the house. Or maybe that's just how I feel about me.

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