Saturday, May 5, 2012

No Fences

I have lived in a house
on a paved road that ends in sand
one of a half dozen or so
model homes built
back when the bottom
dropped out of the market
and subsequently rented out to
the fly-by-nights, the marine corps wife's
the undecided and undetermined
the flame keepers of limbo and greener pastures up ahead
there are 3 models
to choice from
all painted and constructed alike
and it's hard to tell
which is which
especially on drunken evenings when
you stumble home from the bar
so we adorn them with Halloween decorations
and rusted yard art
anything to keep us from peeing in the wrong yard
or breaking our house key off in the wrong door
all done to help us better navigate
those desperate times
when we want only the cheap escape
of our sagging mattresses
and four enclosed walls.

These houses back up to the open desert
drifting in the mirage of Joshua Trees
sand-blown, helpless
without trees and shade
they cook in the 115 degree heat
our roofs sunburned
and our stucco scaly like albino lizards.

We are the non-committal
the renters of the world
dreaming of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico,
or maybe Mazatlán
never putting down to many signs of permanence
albeit the occasional lawn chair
and one neighbor did paint his mail box

early this morning
I stood squinting through blood-shot eyes
out in my back yard
scratching my balls in my bikini briefs
my bare-feet hugging concrete patio slab
the coffee warm in the cup
as the sun rose in the Eastern horizon
when I noticed it ...
I looked to the left of me
I looked to the right
all down the line
back and forth
the neighbors had all started to put up fences!

Oh, God!
this is how it starts
in my five years of living here
nobody had put up a fence in their back yard
(nobody, except me, had stayed longer then six months)
one could roam freely among
the rented cookie-cutters
these were tract homes with out names and identities
faceless without fingerprints
but now
chain link fencing and steel poles
little kiddie bikes and dune buggies and barbecues
swing sets and fire-logs and puppy dogs
Oh Lord!
What have you wrought upon this street!

I had even recently observed
the newer tenants
watering the coarse desert sands
pretty soon one jack-off might even plant a tree
and then watch out!
the end of the world as we know it
the decline of western civilization
and what about the property values
my landlord might actually raise my rent!

The house next to me
to the left
appeared to be just trying to play along
keep up with the Joneses
their fence was only about a 3 foot high
crappy chicken wire job
to appease the angry mob
so I walked over to it
in my bare feet and bikini briefs
and commenced to kicking the wire
an ill conceived attempt to topple the horrid thing
and I saw the sliding glass door open
and an angry shih tzu ran out
the little dog was black and white
and noticeably disturbed by my presence
as it yelped and barked and tried to bite at my toes
through the fence.

A middle aged woman in a bathrobe and curlers
poked her head out the door, "Buster! Get away!"

She looked over at me as I sipped from my coffee cup and stomped at her fence.

"What are you doing?!"

"Kicking over your fence! Your dog doesn't seem to like it very much."

"Why are you doing that?" she anxiously shouted.

"It's for you own good lady. You don't want to
put down roots on this street. You'll thank me someday.
You and your little dog! Just go back inside your house ..."

"Stop it!" she continued.

"Alright ..." I said

"I'll call the cops!"

"Alright ... if you think you need to."

I turned to walk away but then raised an angry fist and shouted,

"Long live the ephemeral!  Death to permanence!"

She shut the sliding glass door after
ushering Buster the pissed of shih tzu back inside.

The cops came and knocked on my door
about a half an hour latter
I have yet to answer
they keep pounding as I type this.

I bet they have fences around their backyards to ...