Sunday, February 27, 2011

Our gated community


So let's focus on the good part, to begin with. It's springtime here!! It's going to be 78 degrees today!! The sky is bright blue, the air is fresh. It feels fantastic to put the boots and scarves away in a closet and pull out the T-shirts.

Now, the other part.
I hate this place that we're living, with a level of venom that has surprised even me. It seems to embody all of the things I dislike about America, in one sanitized & commercialized place.

It seems to have been designed for people who, not feeling quite safe and isolated enough in the middle of North Carolina, decided to build a housing complex up on a hill, behind black iron gates. I have to use a key even to get out of the gate.

Inside the gates is a very Edward-Scissorhands-esque sea of identical buildings. Our apartment is on the 3rd floor, which made hauling 11 suitcases and a week's worth of groceries not the most fun. Outside the gates, the sidewalk disappears into a 6-lane road. There is not even a shoulder wide enough to ride a bike, or the remotest possibility of walking anywhere. It looks like, once Greg is gone with the car each day, I am going to be completely stranded here.

The panic this brings on me is not pretty. Already, in our first 24 hours here I'm a nervous wreck, pacing, stockpiling, staring out the windows. My only comfort so far is that there is a gym on site. I'm going to have to rely on the elliptical machine to keep me sane here, I think.

I have neglected to mention the excellency of our apartment, once you actually get inside. It's perfectly beautiful, spacious, and has everything we need. So this may also need to be a little fortress for me, a place to find comfort in the soft carpets and perfect appliances and ample closets.

Still, I can't help but feel, why would anyone want to live in a place like this? And how am I going to get through 4 weeks in this safe, sunny prison?

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