Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dream Home

“WAG #8: Rose Colored Glasses” Go out and choose an unfamiliar object (in other words, one you have no history with) that strikes you as ugly, repulsive, annoying, etc… some ideas might be: a wad of squashed gum on the pavement, a dead squirrel on the side of the road, an ugly sign, a loud construction site, a tacky sculpture in a charity shop… and write about it in such as way as to make it appealing to your reader. Really sell it! Use whatever words you want and cheat as much as you want, but do your best!

It had been put up to suggest a greeting card, opening away from the passersby on a major thoroughfare and it said, bluntly, "FOR SALE" in block red letters. The sign itself was dirty, dingy, and dinged; the weeds at its foot had grown to obscure the telephone number and mud was splattered on the name of the company offering it for sale. This was no storefront offering; indeed, this vacant lot has been "for sale" for my entire duration in Florida, a hurricane dodging, heat stroke avoiding, four years. But why? Not "why is it for sale?" rather, "why hasn't it sold?"

For most of the four years the lot stood entirely vacant, except, of course, for the sign; and that had changed only recently to reflect a change in the company offering it. The lot, now, looked bleak, appropriately identified with that sense of desolation one only feels in the underpasses of super highways and their forgotten medians. It was filled with large empty spools colored in municipal yellow, with matching empty flatbed trailers and trucks with tanks and hoses. These were arrayed on either side of the drive into the lot, which appeared to have been graded recently, stripping what green there was by virtue of the weeds and leaving only mounds of sand. Again, why had this not sold?

Granted, the lot was not putting its best foot forward; but I saw a large house with spanish tiles on the roof situated just behind the beautiful palms and at a gentle angle to the driveway entrance. The lucious greenery, now dusty with the nearby traffic, was manicured, well-watered, and punctuated with flowering beds of perennials. I could see, just beyond some of the palms closer to the house, the shaded pool at the foot of the garden surrounded again by blossoming plants and brightly colored pool furniture adorning a tasteful gazebo. There were two luxury cars in the driveway and, as I was watching, a smaller, violet colored, sports car drove up and two teenagers jumped out yelling "Mom." All in all, the scene was beautiful and, my imagination notwithstanding, was well worthy of the most serious consideration.

The traffic sped by, I looked longingly at the elegant, gracious architectural style of the house, inhaled a deep breath of the fragrant air enclouding it, drove the short block home and gift-wrapped the experience, attaching a card reading: WAG #8.


  1. Wow, what a stunning piece!

    This week's submissions have been so interesting to me, and I think I like this one the best of your entries so far... but I'm not sure why. I suppose it's that you've woven so many layers in here and I can see it so vividly. Then when you take me into your imagination, it reveals something about you more than the place, so it makes it seem somehow intimate.

    Really well done!

  2. Excellent Read. I think the ending had to be my favorite, in fact the last line, tied everything up so nicely.


  3. Very nice- I could see the lot clearly. Could this be a metaphor for the economy? Let's hope for the lovely house. Cheers!

  4. I enjoyed reading your piece, very evocative.

  5. Love the ending! Very descriptive piece.

  6. Iain, I must say that was both well-written technically and nice that it made me chuckle and grin at the "punchline".

    You all who have participated have done such a nice job with this exercise, and I'm embarrassed that I couldn't even think past my misunderstanding enough to see how to make it work. So I didn't write a piece. I'd like to blame my Muse, but she only tries to help when I ask her.

    Again, great job.

  7. This was a very imaginative piece and well written. I loved the imagery of your last paragraph. I don't think I've ever used "enclouding" before - beautifully expressive.


    PS - even though I am signed into blogger when I read your pieces, there seems to be glitch most of the time and it won't save my comments. Eventually I will figure out what is going on, but wanted you to know I have been reading and enjoying them, even if you don't see my comments!

  8. Poignant but hopeful, painted on a large canvas. You brought me there, I can almost smell the dust, feel the still air. Impressive!