by Wyatt Junker
Talk about a bad hangover: It would take 107 months for banks to sell their inventory of foreclosed homes, up from a similarly bad 103 months reported in April. The backlog looks like it will continue to grow, as failed mortgage mods are prompting a new wave of defaults and home sales slowed sharply after the government’s stimulus program ended.
Either way, I can’t wait for the ‘scandalous’ Lifetime Network movie starring Kevin Spacey: Suburban row housing was getting creepy for a long time. Get off the freeway from work, you have another 9.5 minute commute into the dense sprawl of asian nail salon/thai food strip malls, gas stations sprinkled among subprime “neighborhoods”; the beige replica blueprints like battery cells in The Matrix where human beings ‘live’ but aren’t truly alive. Where you get up in the morning, bend over to flick your neighbor’s dogshit off your walkway with the morning paper as your right buttcheek scrapes his doorknob. Close, squished, apartments called “homes” to make people feel like they were living the dream. But, once inside, the suffocation of these cutouts became clear which were like Burbank studio box lots.
You could throw your fist through the drywall and not hit a stud halfway across your living room. You even tried it once. *pow* *pow* *pow* *pow* The cheap, porous travertine locked in the poodle urine for ages. These things were made like shit. A hobo living inside a cardboard appliance box had better insulation. And every time you looked out your dual pane, someone squatting in the front yard planting a crepe myrtle, a joke of a tree, small, symbolic. It would never grow into something substantial like a true shade tree. The roots could not get below the mudline or underneath the concrete impasse where the fencehoppers buried all their backfill that they were too lazy to take to the dump; cigarette butts and crushed empties along with the framing debris underneath the crushed rock, chunks of concrete jackhammered out and artificial amendment with the yellow CAT backhoe in their rush to pump home values on top of other homes on top of other homes in the great middle class race to the upper fifth middle/lower sixth. Like a Katrina without a storm.
Meanwhile, back at the model homes, 5 of them, decked out with old world Tuscan cliche charm, another family gets a thumbtack rammed into a cork board and a warm handshake. The granite countertop just waiting to be the quasi-rock chimney insert in the Brady Bunch of our time, in this dark and dreary era.