Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thoughts while walking in the neighborhood

 All is not as it seems.

 The message:

We’re welcoming.

 We offer rest for the weary; sit awhile.

We value leisure.

We’re the kind of people who sit and have meaningful conversations with each other.

In a frenetic world of people struggling just to survive, we can afford to sit back and relax.

The reality:

OMG, are you kidding me?
Between work, after school activities for the kids and our meetings
for various community and church groups at night,
who has time to sit?

I have work emails to catch up on, a report still to write
and then we’re catching up on missed episodes of GoT.
I can’t do any of that outside!

I’m not sitting outside;
there are bugs, it’s humid, there’s a breeze;
my neighbors will judge me
(on my clothes, what I’m drinking, my thighs, my hair –
you know what humidity does to it, right?)

Why are you sitting on my property?
Do you know you’re trespassing?
I’m giving you 5 seconds to get off my lawn before I call the police.

We can barely manage a few sentences without prompts from our cell phones
or the constantly blaring TV,
telling us what to comment on
and what to be enraged about.

We haven’t scratched the surface of our relationship in years;
we don’t dare.
And, if we were crazy enough to try,
we certainly wouldn’t make ourselves that vulnerable in public!

I can’t sit outside –
my allergies are bad,
there’s carbon monoxide from the passing cars and buses
(do you know there still are buses?
There are, well, mainly to bring our cleaning people in from other neighborhoods).

There could be PBC’s in the plastic of the chairs;
there could be formaldehyde in the lumber used to make the chairs;
there are mosquitoes – they could carry the Zika virus or malaria!

It’s dangerous outside.

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