Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Anxious to close the curtains on another winter's day, the moon beats me home from work every evening. Should-have-been-retired automobiles sputter and puff smoke into the Garden City streets. On my street, lower middle class houses stare at each other with droopy eyelids, tired of domesticity, tired of winter, the chimneys on the rooftops waving endless handkerchiefs of smoke towards the purple sky. The sound of metal shovel scraping against salt and asphalt echoes from somewhere down the street, but all else is silent, empty, sad, too cold for even the dogs.
Cabin fever having already set in, I forego my front door and decide to go for a walk. My breath visible in the frosty air, I'm sick of this place, this town, this bitching cold. I walk by a procession of identical boxes in the way suburban houses are, cognizant that each of those boxes has a story to tell: someone's getting drunk again for the second time today; someone's coming down off heroin, writhing on a basement sofa; some old man's sitting by the window sill just waiting to die, counting the days since his wife passed away; some single mother fighting tears as she stirs up a steamy pot of beef broth. I want to crawl up through the bushes to those windows and watch these stories like television, but the days of knowing your neighbors had faded along with a simpler America. What a tragedy that these stories will never be heard.
I cut across the park, on the off chance I might find something I lost a long time ago. But it's cold, and all I can think about is how lonely I must look trudging across a snow-covered soccer field. I start to walk home, thinking I'd take just about anything to make this world look new again.