Landmark

Reston Station

There’s that thing… you know, that thing that tells you when you’re home. It’s not your actual home; that would be too obvious. No, this is thing that, when you see it, starts your mind and soul in motion. It triggers your brain into thinking “yes, I’m home”. You might start to feel home when you first enter your county, or not until you enter your city limits. Perhaps even more specific, like your own neighborhood or street.

Sometimes, it’s a tree on the corner that blooms yellow and purple in the Spring. Sometimes, it’s the sandwich shop in the strip mall plaza right off of the freeway. Sometimes it’s the giant water tower from the neighboring town, letting you know that in just a few more miles, you’ll be home.

I’ve had different landmarks throughout the years: the sign for the college zoo, the “south bay curve” on 405, the airport, the first glimpse (on a clear day) of Anacapa Island…

And now, this. It’s like a castle in the sky. A modern take on a Japanese fortress. A cube of glass yet, comforting. As the train slows past it, I gather my things. A few minutes later I’m on a bus, and a few minutes after that I’m walking up the path to my front door.

Home.

Little boxes

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.

The same faces on the morning bus only differ by what day of the week it is. The guy that reviews the technical manuals while spread out across two seats? Only Monday thru Thursday. The woman who only rides two stops? Only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the bus ride home, there’s a different cast of fellow commuters, each with a story. I’m sure.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there’s doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

In the city, I exit the train at Farragut West among a slew of students with white headphones falling from their ears, interns fresh out of school and overusing the words “like” and “literally”, and business men and women dialing their smartphones as they put on their suit jackets.

Busy, busy lives. Lives connected to lives. Everyone with some where to go, and most of the time in a hurry to get there. Busy, busy lives.

I stroll. I have somewhere to be but at no specific time. I don’t hurry. I know where I’m going. I know what I’m doing. It’s a work in progress but, I have time.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Notes:
The song “Little Boxes” was written by Malvina Reynolds. Click here to listen to her original recording . One of my favorite covers is by Walk Off the Earth. You can view their video here.