Surrealist Sidewalk: the Neighborhood in May

It’s been raining lately, raining in the Southern Californian sense when the sky becomes gloomy and there is an ever steady mist. Occasionally it increases into a downpour or tapers off into the indistinguishable landscape of clouds.

I walked around my neighborhood today and took a different route than normal. I wandered south instead of north, west instead of east, watching for the occasional puddle, the wet grass.

I would normally love this weather, the moment after it has rained, when the world seems brighter, fresher again. But today, it was lackluster, the still-present winter cold I acquired back in March still hacking at my lungs and the banality of a beaten path beating down upon my thoughts.

As I walked, I saw a woman get out of her car and walk up to her door. As she did, a man came out of the house and walked right past her. The looked at each other, but the did not say hi. I expected some sort of greeting, some words, a kiss, something. But there was nothing. Neither looked at me and as I kept walking toward them, the man stopped at the patch of grass between the sidewalk and the street. He knelt down facing me and began to search for something in the grass. I walked on.

I passed the house where the old couple used to live. The old man for a long time would tend to the yard, planting things or pruning the trees. But the house seemed lifeless today. No one around. Cold. Empty. It was almost as if someone were there, inside, looking as I walked past, thinking of some other past.

Then walked by the overly-zealous real-estate agent’s house. The expensive tackiness exuded and I remember my father had found they had stated their house was larger and grander on the public record than it actually was in reality. Or something along those lines. Further proof of tackiness.

Their Jack Russell terrier barked angrily. Her name was Princess. I continued home.


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