I like it here, I whispered. I didn’t want the neighbors to hear.
The doors to the front and back were open, the windows wide. We were eating a massive and delectable breakfast he’d cooked after a five-mile run up in the hills near the house. The cat was sitting on the threshold watching the cul-de-sac outside, kids speeding by on razor scooters, neighborhood folk tossing a tennis ball down the block for their shaggy, golden dogs to fetch.
It was the ultimate moment in suburban living. And it was dreamy.
Both J and I have lived in cities our entire adult lives, with the kind of diversity, grit, grime, and evocative atmosphere a city will provide.
The population around us now fits almost squarely into monochromatic, heterosexual couples in various stages of raising their offspring. We both would like a little more color, in several ways. (J says, humorously, that he doesn’t want to lose his edge; I point out he’s listening to Fugazi while wearing khakis, but, you know!)
But while this homogeneity is not our ideal, with one black woman on line in the grocery store, one full-sleeved woman walking her dog, clearly there are advantages to living where we are now.
Moreover, this weekend, we went into San Francisco twice, once on Friday night for an impromptu sushi and Legion of Honor visit and on Saturday afternoon to visit a lingerie & corset shop and his preferred motorcycle shop.
So, we had our visit to the grit. We parked next to the homeless man strewing his belongings vociferously on the sidewalk. The Haight Street Santa-Cruz-esque bros lighting up the air with the scent of weed. And also to the diverse: the same-sex couple walking with their kid, the fashion-conscious women not in yoga pants, and the wide variety of color that remind us we are only one crayon in the box of 64.
But, we’re bridge and tunnel people now. We visit the grit and diverse, we aren’t hugged by it every day. There is a loss in that.
Yet, too, we are not immune to the Siren song of crickets in the evening.