Monday, November 28, 2011

Just A Little Early Holiday Story. No Links. Nothing to Buy.


It's too beautiful to sit inside writing all day. The bike must be ridden a bit. What else are 66 degree November days for?

I weave through the trucks up and down the street, the trucks driven by the foremen, the stone masons, the plumbers, the roofers, the plasterers, the kitchen designers, the marble cutters, the mural painters who replicate the Sistine Chapel in the breakfast nooks.

Our neighborhood, once divided equally between lush woods and modest homes, has been under construction for 10 years. Wooded lot by wooded lot. McMansion by McMansion. Truck by truck. The noise some days requires headphones indoors. Outside, riding my bike, it's even worse. As a little girl in one of my not-yet-published novellas says, as she stares at a wood chipper: "Is that the sound of the tree screaming?"

Yes. Yes it is.

Some of these homes are beautiful beyond measure, filled with fine people I have loved getting to know. But two of them, the ones built later, at precisely the wrong time, sit empty, in limbo. Too expensive to sell. Too big to rent. Too showy to do anything but attempt to keep up appearances. Raked, trimmed, tidied. Chin up! Last weekend a service came and put up Christmas decorations and lights. Part of me finds this absurd, and part of me is grateful that someone is trying. Someone is staying cheerful, showing up, lighting the light. Fighting the fight.

Surely these homes would sell faster if they knew an author lived in the neighborhood. ;-) Or knew, perhaps, simply that someone who cared was home, and listening for them. And hoping all would turn out merry and bright.

3 comments:

Beth Kephart said...

yes, well. this is beautiful. all the way through.

I am glad you got out into the world. I share your will the construction ever stop fury. Here, right here. It never stops. The sound of the tree screaming, indeed.

Da Butcha said...

Thank you for not trying to sell me anything. That's rare this time of year. You're a true pearl... Though I did see your books, over there on the right, shouting "We'd make great gifts!"

kelly said...

Ha! Yes, the books need to be there because they are part of my "journalistic credentials". :-)

Everyone enjoys a real story so I try to do more of them. Thanks for reading!