Three Palms in Suburbia | Mark Lindsay

Living in suburbia is a sweet experience with the metallic aftertaste of Aspartame. I stand in my own shadow as steel SUVs shuttle the neighborhood children to and fro. The agendas of modern mothers leave me in their dust. Lessons. Little League. School. After School. 3:00 PM in this town is the Wild West.

I walk through it, mostly looking down. At my feet. Very little makes me want to look up, except to see the three trees.

There are these three palm trees that I always look at on my daily walks. They stand tall among the tract houses that were once the wetlands of our bay. They are the silent sentinels of this bucolic town, a trinity of some strange mystery. Palms are not native plants around here but neither am I. An aging Jersey Boy, I walk the flatlands of the village always with sunglasses and hat (to cover my now hairless head). People pass with dogs and smart phones. Or dogs and iPods. Or just dogs.

I'm a cat person. No dog. I can see the palm trees from most anywhere along the walk. Their orientation to me changes, first in front of me, then to the side. Now behind and to the left. On stormy days they sway like the old newsreels of a Florida hurricane. They seem forever in slow motion. I ponder if they feel like aliens, wondering to themselves why they aren't on a Canary Island. The SUVs with tinted glass zoom by them, emitting cell-phone radio waves. Are there SUVs on the Canary Islands?

The trees give me pleasure. From season to season, year to year, there are there, just for me. They are the Eiffel Tower of the town. I like things that are consistent and silent. The palms are arranged in a cinematic way, a peaceful, little drama in the suburban town I call home.