I have the unique experience of being born in the city, raised in the suburbs, and having a house in the country. I can look at all kinds of living situations as an outsider and insider. Many of my stories use my property upstate as the setting, but I don’t really spend too much time writing about the town itself.
The reason behind that is there’s simply not much to write about; however, as a writer, that’s a terrible excuse. Stories exist in everything we see. This one is short, and there’s not much of a plot, but there’s definitely a story.
There was an odd mix of properties that were valued at either extraordinarily low prices that would make sense if it was the 60s — when baby boomers could afford to buy houses seemingly straight of of high school — or extraordinarily high prices that would make sense if we were living in Scarsdale. Regardless of how much our houses cost, we paid taxes that competed ever year with Long Island for the biggest rip off.
Only last year did the town build sidewalks on Main Street, where there were no stoplights, where, on a Sunday, one could lay in the middle of the street for hours without worrying about a car coming. If Robert DeNiro was driving down that road and hit you, you’d have enough money to pay your taxes for the rest of your life, provided he broke something. It was more likely lightning would strike the same spot twice than finding anyone finding an easy way to get out of paying taxes without a visit from the IRS.
Aside from the foreclosure signs that littered many of the old houses along Route 208, the mansions guys like Mr. DeNiro were having built, and the sidewalks, there were other signs the town was changing. Attitudes (read: politics) were changing. No one over the age of sixty had a mortgage to pay off, and they loved to work. Paying off the taxes would not be an issue. The issue was the signs along the sides of the roads that said Vote Democrat.
If you wish to submit your own work, please see my submission guidelines and shoot me an email. Two people were brave enough to submit amazing pieces of literature last week. You can read Rob Gunther’s two poems here and Emily McNally’s poem here.