03 December 2005

Saturday night on the wrong side of the tracks

My new neighborhood is the opposite of my old neighborhood. My old neighborhood was very upper-middle class, full of shiny SUVs, wide, safe streets and landscaping in perfect geometric shapes.

This neighborhood is funky, tiny old houses packed together on small lots. Most are about 50 or 60 years old, Spanish-style or little clapboard cottages. There are couches on front porches and dogs running free.

It is Saturday night and I can hear the ooomp-oomp of Mexican music from a party or dance. I can also hear a couple having a serious knock-down drag-out fight. That kind of stuff just wouldn't have flown in Whitebread City.

Despite the craziness outside, I simply love having a place of my own. I am over 40 and have never lived on my own before. I always lived with a spouse-substitute or roommates or family. This place is mine, all mine, except for the big dog on my right. I feel like I am on a fun vacation every time I walk in the door - like a hotel where I can decide what the decor is going to be. A hotel right next to a Mexican dance hall LOL.

Anyway, I don't mind loud Mexican music. It reminds me of Mexico, for one thing. And I love Mexican culture. A couple times over the past week, I have felt like crying just because people have been so nice to me. People in stores, people at crosswalks. I forgot what that was like. Back in Whitebread, if you talked to someone in a grocery store, they looked at you like they were considering calling the police. Here it is standard operating procedure.
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