It’s a great house.
Even from the outside, I imagine that the ceilings are high, the windows wide, and the streaming in of light generous.
I imagine that all these factors give the dwellers of this house an illusion of occupying a great space, greatness here implying the very magnificence of an open airy and bright ambience, as well as the very figurative notion of belonging to greatness and thus destined for greatness.
Yet I never pass by this house without a second look. The first glance allows me a glimpse into the picket fence dream that many strive towards.
A white wooden fence, 4 feet high, only a couple of yards from a door, surrounds a tiny garden with dark green dull plants. On most occasions, a baby stroller rests just beneath a 3-steps stairway leading to the chalk white door. A grill with a red top almost always rests in a corner on the left side of the house, the red sharply contrasted against the very bright yellow of the house’s exterior.
Only after I’ve passed the house do I look again, this time intending to imagine the lives of its occupants.
I imagine a family of three, two parents determined to devote their love to each other and to the third member, an offspring, unaware of it, yet destined to live up to the values bespoken by this house. The values of exclusiveness, of a life of comfort that revolves around some lucky private corporation somewhere and this house.
The house looks great from the outside.
I imagine the inside looks great too. So do its occupants, a good-looking couple with a cute baby.
But each time this picture goes through my head,
I can’t help but feel crushed by the smallness of it all: the apparent lack of individuality of this house, given its similarity with the other purple, white and maroon houses in its neighborhood; the smallness of a life that only revolves around such a house; the inconsequentiality of a dream that strove towards so average an house, and so small a life.