Monday, August 18, 2014

The Norman Rockwell image

My immediate neighborhood isn't very interesting. For the most part, families bought their houses in the early 1990s (in their 30s) and now in their 50s. Their kids are out of the house or close to it. There's a few newbies, like us, that have younger kids. This neighborhood sprawls a bit more and it's on a hill, so it doesn't have that "kids all hang out in the street" atmosphere.

The adjacent neighborhood has a different vibe. The houses are much close together, and it's arranged like a four-leaf clover with four cul-de-sacs. It seems like each house has at least 3 kids. I enjoy walking in that neighborhood because it's so freaking fascinating.

Tonight is the night before recycling pick-up. Most recycling goes in the big blue containers with the exception of bottles (i.e., empty wine and beer bottles) that go in a bin. My neighborhood really doesn't have that much in the way of bottle recycling. Out of 30 houses I walked by, there were 2 houses that had bins out, and there wasn't much in the way of bottles in there. Maybe 3 beer bottles and 2 wine bottles. For two weeks, that doesn't seem like much. In the other neighborhood, there are so many houses with alcohol bottles. And not a measly few bottles. We're talking 20 wine bottles and 20 beer bottles per bin. I'd say that some houses were having big parties, but it's the same houses putting out all those bottles every two weeks. It could be that they have a lot of people living there. It's not my place to judge; I just notice a lot of alcohol consumption in that neighborhood for some reason.

That whole neighborhood seems so confining. Stepford Wives + Truman Show. It's like all the air is replaced with a haunting spell that compels you to have 3 kids and a dog and reminisce of a time when you didn't need to lock your door.

I want to tell the people who always have their lights on and still haven't bought blinds or curtains to do so. I try to politely avert my eyes from the living dollhouse as I walk by, but it's sometimes difficult.

The undercurrent -- I want to find it. The alcohol bottles in all the bins are a hint that everything might not be as Norman Rockwell as the building developer had hoped it would be. They don't have streetlights in the neighborhood. Instead, they are these stubby lantern things.

One thing I want to ask the builder is why he chose so many of the houses to have detached garages. It's Seattle, after all. It RAINS. Putting your car in the garage and then walking from the garage in the rain to the house seems odd, particularly when it doesn't save space and there are many house floorplans that have attached garages. I don't understand.

That neighborhood always makes me want to write. The subversive under the Norman Rockwell image intrigues me.

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