Back in Orange County

Salmon and Beige

I used to make fun of people

who lived in Salmon and Beige stucco houses.

Now I live in one of them.

Inside is great and I am making it our own space. It has that want to be Spanish style the 60s loved.

I can transport and form our personalities into the house, on its very walls which are–

Decidedly neither salmon nor beige.

It’s not a particularly walkable city

Since it was purposefully built

In the era of the car and not the era of horse or foot.

Signs for businesses can be seen from

the street but not on foot right in front of the door.

Everything looks like a cheap storefront

With no personality.

Except that it’s expensive.

It gives my husband a quick commute to work.

There are no bookstores here.

No intellectualism.

No alms for the poor.

No sense of responsibility to fellow humans.

It gives me the opportunity to revisit my youth

And my expectations and my outlier deficits.

I wonder at the neighbors.

If there are any others that feel the way I do or is this air and dirt just someone’s investment. Is it the place their tax bracket is supposed to live.

I don’t know.

I don’t feel like I have arrived, because this isn’t my doing. And if I could have chosen any place to live money no object in southern California I don’t know that this would have been it.

I don’t belong with people who like to go shopping or who don’t have to budget out dental work for their kids. I feel guilty living in a neighborhood that has no liter on the ground—even though I despise liter and trash.

I just know I dream of painting the outside of the house something unacceptable and colorful.

Something outrageous.

Something alive.

The color of a soul.

One Comment

  1. tamaralowery

    I feel your pain of living in a cookie-cutter neighborhood. Did it for several years in central Florida. I’m much happier where I am now, in a 40+ year old house in a quiet rural neighborhood where there is variety of color and form, and space enough between to give some illusion of privacy.
    If I may suggest, turquoise or green would make a nice pop of color, but that’s my personality.
    This was a lovely poem. Thank you for sharing it.

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