Riffing To The Suburbs

So here's a little method to my madness for the 26 of you who care.

Every now and then I do a bit of riffing. That's what I call it whether that term is technically right or not. It's a random outpouring of stuff. Half the time--or maybe more than half--this riffing never ends up anywhere. But sometimes a bit or piece of it will end up in the story I'm working on.

This is the scene. A man reflecting on suburbia. Is this me? Of course not. And totally yes. That's not the point. The point is that writing can just come and maybe out of 400 words you might end up getting 50 worthy of fitting in a novel. Maybe you get nothing but gibberish. Maybe you end up with something that makes you laugh.

This is part of my process. Sometimes it works and sometimes it really does sound like noise.

The noise (as written to repeated playings of "The Suburbs" by Arcade Fire"):

Is this what life was? Is this the cul-de-sac he’d ended up at? The mailman and the garbageman and the lawn service man all knew. They knew him. They knew his name and his game. He wasn’t a hero or an adventurer and he wasn’t about to go to the moon. He was a suburban guy who wondered about fences and inground pools and how big his grill could be. He drank a little too much beer and didn’t work out enough and liked his big televisions and hated the small talk with the woman across the street.

This is your life and a sportscar isn’t going to be fast enough to get you far away.

This was the box that everybody pointed to, that everybody carried around. Colored and sometimes stretched out like an accordian and sometimes sounding beautiful but still a box. A freaking box. He loathed boxes. He hated types. He wanted to live in Southeast Asia in the jungle. He wanted to live in an igloo. He wanted to drive a tractor to work. He wanted to spread seeds during the day. He wanted to study stars at night. He wanted to eat fruit under the moon and the milky way while he wore a loincloth and lay sprawled out in a tree.

You’ve gone bonkers buddy bonkers.

He waved at the car driving by. Hello neighbor. Good to see you. See you Sunday at church. See you at the neighborhood barbeque. See you shining your shiny car. See you spiffing your car and trotting out your trophy wife.

I want something else not this not here not now.

He wanted to walk streets with no name and feel the dirt and the road under his feet and against his heels. He wanted to taste the dirt of America. He wanted to see people who had no idea what a cubicle looked like, no idea what a subdivision looked like, no idea what it meant to have a mortgage. He wanted the wind to chap his lips and the sun to beat down on his head and he wanted to feel God and this world and this life real as real could get. He wanted to take his family along and start over start new become an explorer settling down in somewhere new.

Way too many beers. Way too much steak. Way too much sun.

Kevin breathed in and knew that it was a good thing nobody could read his thoughts. They'd send a shrink his way and force him to pay a grand sitting on a leather loveseat talking about his feelings and emotions and thoughts.

It was best to keep them at bay. In the silence of his screaming mind.

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