Habitat

I’d really like to sit down and write another screed about the house across the street that is larger than the office building I work in and that the upper class twits who built it only deign to visit two weekends a year.

I’d start off by discussing the fact that their swat team of landscapers is out there again, exerting their will against nature like they were the goddamned corps of engineers against the mighty Mississippi, trying to make green, green grass grow on the fake sand fortress they built on top of razed wetlands.

I would probably go on to deride the chemicals the owners have them pour onto that lawn, the gasoline they use to mow, trim, and perm it, which would be more than likely to remind me of the eight bright lights they illuminate their yard with at night, removing from the neighborhood any trace of a starry night sky and irresistibly wrenching all eyes onto their atrocity of a vacation home.

I might discuss the palms they may or may not have greased to be allowed to tear down two perfectly nice little cottages by a river and build on what had previously been posted as protected land, the power they must wield to be able to override the will of the community as expressed by every person who drives, walks, or bikes past, shaking their heads in sorrow.

A full acre of woods — woods I know were previously occupied by rabbits and squirrels, traversed by foxes and coyotes, and nested in by birds — was tossed carelessly away so some middle-aged couple from our nation’s capital could retire on (very) occasional weekends to their dream house by the sea, a house that is ten times the size of any other in the neighborhood, whose architecture is more redolent of New Jersey than Cape Cod, whose five bedrooms lie empty and still the better part of each year in a land beset by a housing crisis.

I would write all this but I am too busy, this morning, slanting my eyes just to the north of this unfortunate blight on the landscape to the river just beyond. The morning sun is shimmering on the water, sparkling in that way that it does, and the terns and chicadees are swooping through the remaining trees and underbrush, setting up shop for the season.

I have a slightly better view of the river because of the reprehensible behavior of my absent neighbors to the east. There is really nothing I can do but enjoy what remains.

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