Sunday, March 04, 2007

Great Suburban Traditions No. 4 - Asexuality

How do you act in the 'burbs: depressed
 and suppressed, or singing and swinging?
Not that anyone ever claimed the suburbs were sexy. That’s not what they’re here for. But sometimes you wonder if the whole concept of suburbia was dreamed up by Puritans to create sexual no-go areas where carnal thoughts are entirely confined behind closed curtains.

When I cross the city border into DC, I can feel something change. There are people walking about. There are people walking about who set you to thinking all the blazing, immoral, indecent, sweat, bump, thrust and grind thoughts that we’re helpless to prevent ,so we might as well mentally enjoy until we’re too old to feel the blood happily flooding out of our skulls (the original brain drain) and into the temporarily festive sluice of arousal. All those thoughts that are blanked out in suburbia until, with the doors double-locked, you can enjoy the furtive unspilling of your hardcore imagination.But flaunting yourself in suburbia only invites ostracism. Those rare human beings wanting to display their feathers will sprint in the dark from front door to car and speed off to the fleshpots of Bethesda and Friendship Heights, lest they be seen as homebreakers on the prowl. An attractive soccer mom is only a theoretical concept, because even if you could see through the dark glass of the SUV as it raced down your road, the cellphone-covered, accusatory sour face would have you reeling with guilt, like a Catholic choirboy caught fondling the rosary while inadvertently picturing the Mother Superior’s lips unpursed.

Not that I’m deluding myself the theoretical soccer mom would be in any respect excited at the sight of me unloading the groceries from the back of my car and shuffling up the garden path while scouring the front yard for Chelsea’s Last Crap (see GST, No. 3). The screeching of brakes, an unwound window, a leering wolf-whistle and a yell of, “Excuuuuse me, but you are one fucking hot house-hubbie!” would no doubt be as unnerving to your average ‘burb-imprisoned stay-at-home dad as a 3pm drive-by shooting. Though it would probably take something a little more special than my skinny ass in a thirty-buck pair of jeans to wrench a soccer mom from her cellphone.

At weekends, however, there are drunken swing and swap parties on every street. True, I’ve yet to be invited, but there must be something (or someone) going down when the lights do likewise at 10. New kids are born, and divorce suits get filed. Adultery must be conducted in secret, ultra-padded underground chambers – the same places where people drink alcohol. That’s all fine, though. Just don’t show up on the surface singing at midnight. In suburbia the golden rule is that all your simmering desires and leashed-in human frailties should be kept in a safe place where they won’t disturb the peace.

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