As I walk down my street I hear birds chirping. A lone dog barks. Children wave and giggle as they ride their bicycles up and down the cracked sidewalks. Typical American neighborhood. I love it.
A young man smiles as he jogs past. I nod my head in acknowledgement. A light breeze wafts the smokey smells of a backyard barbecue in my direction. I close my eyes, imagining the deliciousness upon my lips. Twangy country-western music flows from someone's window. Typical American neighborhood. I love it.
I notice an ice cream truck in the distance. Bicycles forgotten, the children run and skip, dollar bills waving in the fresh air. "Strawberry, vanilla, chocolate cone, please." The long, low, rumbling whistle of a train drowns out their happy cries. Yes, this is the typical American neighborhood and I love it.
Now I stop in front of my own home, a modest three-bedroom, brick house with a nice fenced-in yard. I adore its comfort, its feel and the occupants who reside within. And then. And then. I hear the shouting. An argument just a few doors down. Loud. Louder. Squirrels scamper. A cat slinks behind a row of manicured shrubs. Bang! Bang! Bang! Gunshots ring out. Almost deafening. I duck inside.
This is what has become of the typical American neighborhood. I hate it.