My Old Place (tf)

Yea, I too grew up in an old-fashioned “neighborhood” where you knew your neighbors and couldn’t get away with throwing a beer bash at your house when your folks went out ’cause somebody was bound to narc on you. But still, it was nice and safe and quiet and we could roam free without the fear of being grabbed by some twisted pervert. Most of the old gang is gone now but a few remain. My Mom is still there, and if the house seems a bit empty without my Dad (he passed on last year) it still fits like a favorite flannel shirt. Things are where they’ve always been and smell the way they’ve always smelled and the outside colors are still red and yellow….just like a McDonald’s restaurant…..and the driveway is still covered by the wretched tar job I did when I still lived there. I globbed it on so badly you can trip on it. It looks more like lava.

There are 3 houses for sale on the street now. Last year at least 4 went on the market and were subsequently bought. I don’t know who bought them. The people across the street have lived there at least 10 years, and I’ve never once been able to get them to say hello. It’s a different world. All the houses have front porches but everybody hunkers inside with lap-tops and air-conditioners. The street used to be lined with trees but they’ve all been cut down. I have no idea why. There used to be an old lot on the corner that we’d cut through to get to the main drag. It had an old white house that nobody ever seemed to live in except some hippy college professor who was never there. Recently somebody bought the lot, tore down the house, and built a $500,000 monstrosity. A few years later they moved a mile away to an even bigger house….selling theirs to another rich person who barricades himself and his brood behind a tall fence. A mansion at the end of the street you grew up on is kinda creepy… having somebody in a dark coat flash you when you turn the corner.

But you can’t go home again. When you do such things are what you see, and you end up aggravated and driving back to where you moved to in silence.

I have my own place now, and it’s not that far away. It’s a nice area, but time does strange things. At Halloween people just leave bowls of candy on their steps. There’s no need to knock on anyone’s door, which I guess is the whole point. Still, they’re way nicer than me. I turn off the lights and watch football in the basement. Nobody has front porches anymore…or at least the kind built for sitting. I mostly see my neighbors when they are cutting their grass. During the winter, I might not catch sight of them at all. Nobody seems to mind. Nobody bothers anybody else….which is the best you can hope for in a neighbor in these days of fear and paranoia. Our only issue was the night at 2am when the coke-fiend drove his car through our fence and into our backyard. But that’s what you get for living on a busy road that’s so close to so many bars. I guess.

Still, it’s home. My old place.

–Tom Flannery

~ by admin on July 6, 2011.

2 Responses to “My Old Place (tf)”

  1. There’s no place like home, or Hawaii

    • strange…………I thought my street in bucolic Factoryville was the only street where no one came out except to mow the lawn or walk the dog. Definitely no one on front porches. Hardly any front porches. I feel better……….I thought they were just avoiding me because i have a “Corporations are not the people” bumper sticker.

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