Songs of Suburbia & Boners to the Moon


His name was Jack Shepard.  He doesn’t know where his name sake originated from.  Jack’s heritage was never discussed.  Not out of shame or for any real reason.  His parents were just simple people that themselves grew up in a time and place that was so safe, clean, and predictable that they never required any real pride or personal motivation to get by.  They just had to wake up and live the easy life.  Jack is the product of the unambitious, the moderately successful and the never interesting… suburbanites.  

Jack is 12 and after a brief period of panic last year when he couldn’t wrap his head around the idea that space never ends, he is now an existentialist.  He doesn’t know it yet, but that’s what he is.  He now takes comfort in the fact that at the very least he can just do as the rest of the suburbanites do with little effort to live out his truly meaningless existence.  This low input method just required him to be clean cut, polite, on time and to maintain a good lawn.  He’d mastered the last of these requirements when his father gave him the chore of mowing when he was 10.  Jack was surprised by the violent sound of the mower that very first time, but he grew to take real pleasure in the oppressive tones.  

Swimming was the other extra curricular activity Jack found worth while.  He never cared for the competitive swim meets and thought that the coaches and parents must have enjoyed this event more than the kids.  Water isn’t easy to hear through when submerged but for whatever reason there existed a real need to whistle and yell at the competing swimmers in the water.  Jack thought they must know that which basically left him thinking it must be some sort of stress relief for their own lives.  Or maybe they were just relishing in the opportunity to yell at their kids for making their perfectly simple lives a little bit less convenient.  Pretty deep for a 12 year old but keep in mind… Jack is a thinker.  The part Jack loved most about swimming were the early morning practices when the coach made them swim for a half hour straight.  No instructions, no whistle blowing or yelling, just getting into a rhythm and swimming.   

If you can imagine yourself outside in a typical suburban environment, eyes closed and ears open.  What do you hear?  You might imagine a few birds, kids playing and an ice cream truck ding donging down the road.  But the true Songs of Suburbia are the ones that become apart of you.  Weighing you down and subconsciously reminding you every second exactly where you are.  The nearby highway humming with constant traffic, lawn mowers, garage doors, ambulance and fire trucks, never ending construction and the drone of dozens of AC units spilling cheaply converted fossil fuels into under insulated boxes.  He never realized it but this is why he loved both swimming and mowing so much.  It drowned everything out, including his presence within.  In that was his reprieve, where he could dream of a great many wonders, like riding boners to the moon.

By Hugh

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