I carry the anger on my back like hell in a nightmare. Early on such a gorgeous evening, the neighborhood is but a whisper in a dream as we move through fat paved streets of suburban life. An occasional car passes. Another walker is out for a stroll, and the nearby mountains do that layered purplish monochromatic thing you see in clearance-priced Southwest paintings at the drugstore.
Continuing on, we nod our heads silently, feeling blessed by the tidy uniformity of the faux-rock river beds, the stepping stones and the solar lights echoing from property to property in our HOA-governed slice of heaven.
Alas, your yard. We wince and quicken our pace to get away, but the horror stays with us for several blocks as we try to understand why. Do you think we can't see your weeds bursting through the loose decorative rock, jutting as much as six inches into the air and covered with teeth and hair?
You flip the world on its head, dunk it in a toilet and lay it out to die, yet offer no apology. We know you’re in there. Your cars are in the driveway and you come and go. Ably.
These mesquite trees, verbena plants, ornamental grasses, succulents and decorative statuary dotting our thousandth-of-an-acre lots aren’t only there because we were forced by a threatening HOA, but because we want to be pretty in an idyllically sterile subdivision. Oh, bloody hell; is that a candy wrapper under your lantana?