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Suburbia

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There is a land where the college you go to means everything, where everyone is constantly trying to keep up with the Joneses, where over-worked, highly-strung students are funneled through the achieve-a-tron and forged into successful, money-making powerhouses. This community is known as Suburbia. It is devoid of the skyscrapers and traffic that mark urban living, as well as the noise and pollution. It is filled with trees, sky, and gardeners who tend to the massive lawns of the town’s most prosperous citizens. Suburbia is a land for those who work on Wall Street, but like to think they live in Walden Pond. It is a tranquil retreat far from the chaos and confusion of the big city…or so I’m told. The houses channel down neighborhoods on streets with theme based names. Some clusters include the Native American tribes: Seneca, Cayuga and Oneida. Others are named for various trees: Oak, Elm, Birch, and the rest are named for famous people throughout history, or the subdivision estate developer’s grand kids.
The houses have big driveways with three car garages that seldom hold but one. In the driveway or on the street is the latest and largest SUV named Avalanche or Tundra, a vehicle powerful enough to climb the highest mountains, or all the way to the top floor in a parking garage mall. Then juxtapose to the SUV sits a tiny hybrid because, after all, its owner doesn’t want to harm the environment.
The houses are carved from stone, brick, stucco and wood shingle and are of the Georgian Colonial, Mediterranean and English Manor style, all beautifully ornate with elaborately done entranceways better described as portals. Upon stepping into one of these houses one feels overwhelmed by an air of architected exquisiteness and all too rehearsed comeliness. There is a coat closet on either the right or left side of the door, a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and an intricate rug lying on the floor. The house has both an upstairs and a basement; the staircases are lined with carpet or made from fine wood. The upstairs staircase, which is far more conspicuous than the downstairs, tantalizes the visitor and makes him wonder what marvelous treasures there are to be found should he choose to ascend it.
The hallways are filled with artwork; paintings, made with charcoal, watercolors, pencils, oils and pastels; depicting nature, buildings, struggles and the human body, both clothed and unclothed. There is photography, some of it memories, more of it “true art,” (at least according to the latest consultant). There is even sometimes the rogue statue, standing silently still, forever watching and never participating. Whenever one of the residents acquires a new piece, all of her neighbors must come and see it in disdain, for not having purchased it themselves. There is a room in the house where the children are forbidden from playing, ironically named the “living room.” It is where the adults go at dinner parties to drink fine wine and discuss politics while their progenitors go to the basement to play Xbox.
Another room houses the family’s most prized possession, their big screen television. In this room there are couches or chairs, and a table so they can eat and watch at the same time. The kitchen houses a large table as well as imported granite countertops with un-spell-able names. The refrigerator is stocked with energy drinks, soda, health products, diet supplements, juices, bread, butter, meat, cheese, vegetables and fruits, and a cornucopia of various other products, some of which the family will never eat. There is also a freezer connected to the fridge holding ice creams and microwaveable dinners. There is a separate cabinet solely dedicated to snacks on which the perfect and well-mannered children feast incessantly. An endless supply of cookies, candy bars, gummies, and chocolate fuel the children’s hyperactivity, which the parents professionally treat with the proper dose of Ritalin or the latest herbal remedy. There is a water dispenser either on the fridge or freestanding as the tap water (in their minds) is not pure enough to drink. For every inhabitant there is a cell phone and for every room there is a computer and a desk on which it sits. The parent’s room or “master bedroom” has a king-sized, Tempur-Pedic bed with too many throw pillows, and two night tables equipped with lamps and clock-radios, with one on each side of the bed. On the night tables you’re likely to find a book about parenting, because even though they may be doctors and lawyers, businessmen and CEO’s, the one job they most fear failing, is raising their kids to be “all that they can be.”





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dragonbiscuits This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 4:11 pm
I like this- a lot! It is really true, and you are talking about the problems, quite subtely and politely (which, heheh, I do not do quite as well) but are still expressing your feelings. Bravo, my friend. You also have a really nice writing style, it is well polished, but not hard to read!
 
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