Saturday, September 02, 2006

The hissing of summer lawns

Having moved to a residential neighborhood in the historic district of a very middle class section of Milton has left me with a few annoyances which I did not anticipate. All of a sudden, I feel I am a homeowner in the midst of The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit. Not that anyone in Milton, or in Vermont, wears a grey flannel suit--this is the land of jeans and workboots. But I am referring to a row of houses with picture-perfect lawns ... where the neighbors are all looking at my lawn, thinking: "when is she going to mow, for heaven sakes? This is making us look bad."

And I thought of a couple of things: how I could've bought a house in the rough North End, where people you're not sure you want to look at sit out all day in front of their houses/apartments in next to no clothing. The house I saw there was charming on the outside, and the character of the neighborhood appealed to me in a perverse sort of way, but the price was too high, and the problems too numerous.

And then I thought of Creedence Clearwater and Metallica, living in their El Cerrito houses, and of Neal Cassady's Bancroft Ave. house, or Jack Kerouac's Orlando house. How much trouble they must have caused their neighbors. Perhaps. Anyway, I wasn't really sure I wanted to move into the bourgeois segment of my life just yet. I thought--maybe I wanted to stay bohemian just a little longer. But while I do that (if I can manage it--see below) I'll have to keep up appearances on the outside, lest Mrs. Councillor Nugent decides to pay a visit.

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