Suburban Paranoia

Ever since I have graduated from law school, I have lived in cities. I lived in New York by myself and went to and from work in the South Bronx. In DC, we lived in the city, a hop, skip, and a jump away from where the police implemented neighborhood checkpoints because of gang warfare the summer before we moved there. I never considered myself as the type to easily scare in cities.

However, for some reason, the quiet of the country is an entirely different matter. Last night, one of our friendly new neighbors (something that I have been impressed with since we arrived), stopped by with some delicious zucchini pineapple bread, and told us what a wonderful neighborhood that we chose. She also told us that unfortunately, there have been a few uncharacteristic break-ins in the neighborhood recently. The most recent just happened this past weekend a few houses away from us. She told me not to worry, as the break-ins have occurred only when no one was at home. I told her that I wasn’t worried, but then last night, I had a very hard time falling asleep as I became aware of every little sound. It turns out, the country is much quieter than the city and therefore living in it, every bump in the night sounds out of place. Fortunately, even though David is still in DC, I have Knightley to warn me if anything sounds amiss. However, today at work I have been thinking about what happens to Knightley if someone tried to break-in when I wasn’t home. This is how obsessive compulsive behaviors get started.

Also there are the bugs. I forgot about bugs in the South. I have seen a few spiders, and so I have paranoia about brown recluse spiders biting my forehead and leaving me permanently scarred like that lady we knew in Mississippi in the early 1980s. Or, I think about my high school French teacher’s brother who had a cockroach climb into his ear when he was sleeping at night so that he had to go to the emergency room to have it removed.

Then there is the other kind of paranoia that sounds like it will best be expressed in the new The Arcade Fire album, The Suburbs. Fear of those things are probably the worst of all.

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