Saturday, October 01, 2005

Personal Realty Tour

Personal Realty Tour

I find myself driving around aimlessly this afternoon, which by the way is a highly enjoyable way to drive. Since my son has been taking part in a nap strike and I’ve decided to call his bluff. I drive while he is forced to sit in his car seat, riding along until he can no longer keep his eyes open. Nothing is more soothing than riding in the car, although I suppose that also depends on who’s driving.

I have taken to the road, quiet roads. Some would be considered main roads but there aren’t many cars traveling along them. I make some turns here and there. Sometimes down through the Metro Parks where the drive is practically meditative. You can look at the trees and hear the birds sing if your windows are rolled down and not driving so fast that all you get is wind rushing through your ear.

But my favorite roads are the ones “less traveled”. And by less traveled I mean “Private Drives”.

The sign says it all in the most condescending way; “This drive belongs to the people that dwell within and not the likes of you”. Some are little developments that include manmade ponds and lakes. The signs posted on the road include certain words like “hidden”, “trail”, and “lakes”. An example would be “Cedar Trail” or one of my personal favorites, “Hidden Lakes”. This would imply that there are an abundance of lakes, but they are hidden. Maybe they don’t even know that they’re really there, but they’re sure that they exist. But don’t attempt to be Lewis and Clark discovering them, the likes of you need not enter our private existence.

I’ve taken a ride through and I usually find at least one of the lakes and guess what, it’s in plain view, well maybe behind a thin veil of trees and bushes, but I certainly wouldn’t call that hidden. If I should ever move into that community, I want to be greeting by fellow upper-middle-class neighbors bearing casseroles and potted plants. Then after everyone has dropped off their housewarming gift and left, I suppose I’d snoop around my new attic full of old things the previous owner never bothered pack. I might stumble upon and wooden box, blowing off a thick layer of dust to find that inside would be a folded piece of delicate, yellowed parchment paper and inscribed would be a very faint map. It would lead me to a hidden lake full of mermaids and octopuses.

What if the lake was actually under something, like big boulder? The neighbors would be stunned, “Imagine that, the real hidden lake was underneath this big rock the whole time?” Maybe it was beneath a house, like an underground canal. Of course we’d find out it was only the septic tank, and although it certainly would be a feast for our eyes and nose it just wouldn’t be able to capture the same magic and wonder.

I pass by one driveway to a secluded neighborhood bearing a “No Outlet” sign. In other words “Don’t Bother Driving In Here”. If you should feel the need to there is only one way out and it’s the same way you came in. You will actually be driving in circles. There is no “where” to go, so just keep on driving, you insignificant piece of crap. It is the equivalent of the police officer at a crime scene motioning the crowd of nosey rubber-necks to move it on back. “There’s nothing to see here, people. Go on about your pathetic lives…”

Ordinarily this would have piqued my curiosity and I would have pulled in just to spite the pretentious sign. But I saw all there was to see from the street. The sign out in front of this little gathering of mini mansions said “Fairfield Oval”. Oval? Really? Are you sure it’s not hexagon perhaps? It was really about a half a dozen houses gathered around a circle of trees. Yes, a circle of trees. But perhaps a circle is a commoner’s shape; they needed a much sophisticated piece of geometry worthy enough to name their village.

And how come no one ever lives in the circle? Is it because all those who live around the circle don’t want to look at one another? It would be like prime real estate for those who love to be the center of attention. “Everyone in the neighborhood is looking at me!” they might say proudly before getting their swollen head stuck in a doorway.

Not one for loving the spotlight, I would keep my curtains drawn no matter how stifling hot or stale the air in the house got. I would be much too self conscious and paranoid knowing in my heart of hearts that “Everyone in the neighborhood is looking at me!” It would be for certain that the one late night I decided to open the windows sure that all my neighbors were asleep they’d catch me doing unmentionable things. Mostly, late night pig outs. “There she is Jan, look at her! Stuffing her face with Oreos, it’s sickening. Look at the way she separates the cookie halves licking the insides till there’s nothing left! She just dropped one on the floor….Oh my GOD! She picked it and ATE IT!”

I notice that my son is starting to slump over in his car seat, a sure sign that the drive has rocked him into a deep sleep. It’s time to head home. I live on a pretty quiet street with neighbors whose estates do not intimidate the passers by. Our modest home is neither large nor boastful, but something we are proud to live in none the less. As I unbuckle the seat belt straps and carry his warm little sleepy body inside the house I turn to see a car slowing down past our driveway, and I must say, it felt nice to be noticed.


At 01 October, 2005, Blogger Derek Rydall said...

Just out trying to find info on Screenplay Analysis, and this one came up. I don't know why exactly, but here I am. It's actually interesting. There's so much interesting stuff in blogland! I'm a professional screenwriter, script consultant, and I'm always looking for good writing, interesting people, and new ideas. on!

At 01 October, 2005, Blogger Myrtle Beach Stuff said...

That was a nice drive! I used to go driving up in the mountains and build houses in my mind atop peaks that could only be reached through heavy trekking (or helicopter). Now that I am at the beach, My wife and I take a cart from Myrtle Beach Golf Cart Rental and go through neighborhoods with gates that won't let my crappy car in. I am also lookin gin attics for maps to hidden lakes.

Thanks for taking us along for the ride - I need a nap now.


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