This here is my tribe. These are my people. The Suburanites.
My suburanites are the people whose pictures you glance past and disregard; too happy, too white, too easy. We made it like that and got you to believe it was your own making.We may play some parts of the neighborhood games of course, perhaps we’re in your book club or town council, or president of your junior class, yet amongst my tribe are Ivy leaguers, valedictorians, commissioned artists, division athletes, entrepreneurs and grand masters; masks within masks. So it goes. We have fronts for what we really are and what we are… are spies. You think we really care about cars and stars and microwaves? Ha! We hide in those shadows you cast. We’re the kind of infiltrators you never find out. The neighborhood may look pretty of course, from the outside, but we aren’t your typical kind of tidy. Maybe we want you to think that. Maybe we taught you to do so. For those of you who grew up in the suburban bush, you know it’s never as clean as it seems. You know, but you’d never tell. You made it how it is and what’s the point anyway; when they can’t even hear you?
I will tell you about our tribes. I will even tell you our ranks. It doesn’t matter to you anyhow. My first tribe is my nuclear one and it’s big. Some are bigger than others, but we are all watching something. As one of 17 in my nuclear tribe made up of; 2 stepfathers, 1 step mother, 2 parents, 1 half brother, 2 step brothers, 1 step sister, 2 ex step brothers, 4 ex step sisters, one full blooded and three more on the way, I escaped small-town-boondock-Indiana to search for the exceptional mission where everyone said to look… the north, the city. I was a spy without a country for some time, or so I thought. So you know my ranks. Big deal. You can’t really see anyway. Your eyes are in the way. I went off on my own operation. It had to be done and often it is for the suburbanite spy.
Yet! I recently came back to be with my people/my tribe for a time and what I found was not the laws & lawns or churches & yawns I made up in my mind from years past… I found the suburban warriors of a found generation. I started to understand what I always did understand. I found not only my nuclear tribe, but my extensive tribe and friends of me and my tribe, who had their own tribes and so forth. It’s as large as memory I suppose. I found them again as Kings and Queens of a new world made; as the exceptionally dark beings they are. I documented them anew amongst regulated blueprints and flowered gardens. I figured somebody should. We won’t be remember be never should we be forgot. I had to document now that I could see them. They wear their lovely masks of course, but I can see through them now. It’s a game to us, but a serious one. I was back in my country again. I reckon you never really leave something like that; your country. We’re made of the soil anyhow; the fertilizer you smell in our perfect lawns.
We don’t follow the rules or roles set out in the map of the American dreamway. We aren’t whom you think, even when you are thinking, which is rare in this subject. Yes, we’ve been arrested and divorced. We’ve run away and come back. We’ve taken pills and deals and trips and trials. We’ve broken records and bones and dinner plates and hearts even. We’ve loved and learned and lost and loved again. We’ve hated and hurt and hospitalized and healed. You’d never know, but we’ve done it all. We just do it in shadows. We do it in whispers. We’re only human. We’re solely human.
So, this is my family; my legionnaires. I am theirs too. They are the remarkable suburban middle that I know. It took a few hundred miles and half a decade of espionage in the silver trenches of New York for me to realize it, but I grew up in the exceptional with the exceptional all along. Sometimes we’re so good at our secret we forget it and must remind ourselves in time. I did. I can be anywhere and not be elsewhere all the same. Now I can see that enough to write this. I guess that’s the only reason why I am, because it suits only me, unless you’re wearing your lovely mask today.
So, I guess nobody ever takes our real picture. They can’t. I can’t even. It’s too big. Nobody sees us behind the shadows we put ourselves in and constructed too the empire. This, I present, is only a piece of the empirical mass we are. We are but one tribe in an army of suburban spies floating around like rainclouds somewhere and never elsewhere. You’d never know. Even when I tell you this now, you’ll never know our colors.
We’re just the ones making quiet moves in a world that has to scream about everything. We’re fine ruling behind our pastel-painted veils. Hell, we painted them ourselves in our cul-de-sac bunkers. Watch out I guess…
It’s all the same to us.
Subjects: Here are the many faces and fronts the people of my tribe take. They take many. I can spare you a few. Some tribes are bigger than others.
Olivia, best friend; the designer, baker, rocker.
Neil, Father: the Yogi, toastmaster, social butterfly.
Jimmy, brother: the state wrestler, the engineer, boy-genius.
Nancy, Grandma: the bridge grand master, gardener, host. Brian, Pop Pop; a golfer, Floridian, fisher.
Betsy, Mother: the business owner, breadwinner, valedictorian.
Robbie, the first and forever friend; the Casanova, the hitter, the man.
Ty & Cils, High school sweethearts; Tyler, Indiana’s tobacco free sport’s figure, sigma chi, dental student…Chelsea, the nurse: caretaker, country girl.
Christopher, ex-girlfriend’s brother; the fencer, writer, master lego builder.
Hunter, college friend; the painter, photographer, socialite.
Elly, sister; the ivy leaguer, college athlete, baker.
Paul, Stepfather: the biker, grill master, introvert.
New York Strangers
The faces of New York
Around the World
Youth is not always wasted on the young.
Outside is where the world is. Outside, the world lives.
Elly: sister Olivia: Best Friend Mary: First Love
What do you see in the mirror?
What does everyone else...?
Even if things look pretty on the outside, so often they aren't. If he/her puts his/her hands on you...leave him/her.
Show him the tail lights.
by Brian McGuffog & Sabrina Banta
Dick & Ilene
Dick & Ilene. At home. 5th avenue.
She's out of this World
Love who you love.
A Mermaid Story
A mermaid is a sad girl.
Break Out Women
She's not so desperate for you after all. Break out of your box and take the wheel. There's more to life than furniture and furs.