Homesick for Suburbia

Under the misguided assumption that the weather was awful, I didn’t leave the house until 8 on Sunday. Once I finally got outside, I was treated to warm air that smelled like rain. As I walked to the movie theatre (where I ended up seeing Gatsby accidentally alone), I felt a feeling that’s hard for me to come by here in Washington state. It’s the feeling of walking down a suburban street at night, of watching tv through other people’s windows, of restless excitement and possibility.

It wasn’t until today that I realized I miss the suburbs. Last night I just felt confused, feeling a familiar feeling in an unfamiliar place. I love it here. Seattle has everything: art, parks, music, great clothes and food, endless walks. Bainbridge Island gives me friends and nature. But that’s the problem. I have what I need. I feel no possibility, no anger, no yearning. For 18 years I dreamed of escaping the burbs. Now I just want to walk down a street of homes, late at night, feeling safe.

I went for a run today. My best friend in Seattle moved to Alaska on Friday and I decided that whenever I feel sad and lonely, I’ll go for a run. When I left the house, the wind was strong and the sun was still so bright. I didn’t have my contacts in so the world was a blur. I kept my eyes on the road. I ran and I ran and after a while I found myself back where I started so I decided to walk and cool down before heading back inside to see if my night would go anywhere.

This is when I got lost. I thought I was just walking around the block but I kind of live in the country-ish and blocks are misshapen like bloated puddles after a rainstorm. Like the spread of spilled jam on a hot day. Like a sick amoeba. Like a crushed bug. I didn’t have my contacts in and I thought if I kept on walking in the same direction I would eventually see home. Instead, through my haze and blur I saw a million fuchsia globes. Upon closer inspection: flowers. They were so beautiful I got closer to look and smell and then I was laughing at this bright fuchsia gift and suddenly I was sobbing on the side of the road in my running clothes, sweaty hair tied back but loose too, swirling around my head in the breeze.

I don’t exactly know why I was crying. I wasn’t sad, or maybe I was a little, but mostly I was oh so aware of the beautiful things the Earth gives to us, and so lucky to get lost and find flowers, and so hopeful that all the people in my life that I love will see those flowers too. Those fat fuchsia orbs. What a world.

After a while I walked away. I turned my head every few steps, catching a glimpse of fuchsia, until one time I looked back and they were gone.

I eventually found my way home, but not before getting lost in the suburbs. There are upstate New York suburbs on Bainbridge Island! Happy houses with manicured lawns! I watched a spider stretch its legs inside an orchid. The closed flowers look like shallots. The open flowers look like tongues. I skipped and tripped in the sunshine, giddy on cloying conformity.

I left and got more lost and ended up right back on perfect pavement. Suburbia calling. What I wouldn’t give to be walking down Main Street in Williamsville right now, breathing in air full of possibility, feeling potential energy under my skin, knowing I could run for miles. Well I ran and here I am.


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About Emily Suggests

Pineapple rock, lemon platt, butter scotch. A sugarsticky girl shovelling scoopfuls of creams for a christian brother.

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