Archive for March 19th, 2008

Miss Suzy’s Neighborhood

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

secretstream.jpg
The secret stream

I walk to the corner store through the early twilight. I love this time of day, when the sky is an ethereal blue, just about to darken, the lamps start glowing through windows, the stars begin to wake up. I pass by a bower of palm trees, unpruned, the wind rattling the stiff leaves, and notice that there is a little stream. A lemon tree stands sentry and ivy grows beside it. The rippling water is golden in the setting sun. It?s like a little secret, a little gift. The world is quiet here.

When I arrive at the store, someone?s being arrested. The police car lights are flashing and the police are bustling around with their arrest duties. Makes a change from people being arrested and their cars towed right across the street, I think as I go into the store. In the store, I notice that they actually sell Thunderbird, Night Train, and Boone?s Farm* wine. I don?t think I?m their target market. I?d like to take a picture, but I can?t imagine that would go over very well. I?m already being eyed suspiciously by the cashier.

On my way back home, I think of how different it must have been here in the 1920?s, when my house and most of the neighboring houses were built. It would have been quieter: no freeway, few cars rushing down the narrow roads. Most houses don?t have garages, or if they do, they?re clearly built long after the houses. One house has alyssum carpeting its driveway with white blossoms. I?d love to go back in time for just a day to see the way it looked then. I imagine its original residents would be shocked at the way it is now.

*When I got home, I just had to Google these fine vintages. The reliable sources at BumWine inform me that all are made by our friends at Gallo, the same ones who merrily advertise their “premium” wines. Surprisingly, these are not listed on their website. Apparently they also made Ripple, as popularized by Sanford & Son, back in the day, though it’s no longer manufactured. Wonder why it didn’t make the cut?