One-o-nine Mann Street. My 4 year old sister would recite our address to anyone¬†who thought she was cute, showing off her brainpower.
The driveway is our bumpy¬†roller-rink and our dachshund‚Äôs gnawings are on the lower half of the front door.
To catch a bat at twilight, according to Simon from next door, you need a tennis ball¬†stuffed in the leg of your mom‚Äôs pantyhose.
Toss it up, the bats think it‚Äôs a moth and¬†they get stuck and you catch it. We never catch one.
We see a movie where people jump from a burning building in to a blanket held by¬†firemen.
And so we try it using a fluffy pink blanket with matching pink satin around¬†the edges.
The satin makes it hard to grip, as children, one after the other, plunge into it from the second storey.
Suburbia is a realm of freedom, until it‚Äôs not.
The suburbs and its entrapping quality is a theme explored in literature time and¬†again ‚Äì
from Jeffrey Eugenides‚Äô Virgin Suicides set in Grosse Point, Michigan; to¬†Haruki Murakami‚Äôs lurid descriptions of a mundane Japan.
Wherever the¬†freestanding, only-a-train-ride-away residences were seeded and sprawled, the¬†depictions of life from within followed.
An excerpt from Murakami‚Äôs South of the Border, West of the Sun:
‚Äú‚Ä¶until I moved to Tokyo to go to college, I was convinced everyone in the whole¬†world lived in a single-family home with a garden and a pet,
and commuted to work¬†decked out in a suit. I couldn‚Äôt for the life of me imagine a different lifestyle.‚Äù
The appeal of the suburban settlements arrived with the evolution of transport. The¬†Metro in London.
The Ford Model T in the US. In this era, the new smelling, freshly¬†built dwellings were considered refuge from inner cities.
A sanctuary only a short¬†commute away from the unsanitary and morally corrupt.
Every major exodus from the city since has been a fleeing of some nature.
Post¬†World War II, the desegregation of urban areas, brought on by the American Civil¬†Rights Movement, prompted the ‚ÄòWhite Flight‚Äô ‚Äì
a mass migration of white people¬†from cities to the suburbs.
In the minds of many liberals and teens, the seemingly perfect picture of suburbia is¬†the hell to be evaded.
It‚Äôs the type of creatively barren space that compels youth to pick up an instrument,¬†find a garage and search for their voice.
See Joy Division, The Rolling Stones and¬†Nirvana. Others lock themselves in their poster-plastered, north-facing bedrooms¬†until they are free to leave.
They consume music that offers a secret passageway to¬†escape the pleasantries and predictability.
See preferred playlist: Joy Division,¬†The Rolling Stones and Nirvana.
After college, once employed, with the earning potential and stability to apply¬†for a loan and a first-born due in March, we move back.
The child will need a¬†driveway for a roller-rink and a dachshund.
Words by Terri De Sousa