Animal sightings and McMansions
A deer, its graceful long neck stretched out over its stocky caramel-coloured body as if it was interrupted by the car while performing the 'Dying Swan', its dark eyes no longer luminous. I saw the broken animal lying by the road as M. and I drove into the town of Madison, New Jersey.
"Just how can someone not see a deer on the road, for heaven's sake?" I said.
"Well, you know, the road isn't lit, there aren't any street lights, and it's late at night when the deer prance around," M. said. "You have to rely on the headlights and that's what happens."
"Who said people should be driving around so fast anyway?" I said.
"I'm not disagreeing with you," M. said.
The road became more like Surrey, England, as I saw it become narrower and more winding along nothing but fenced greenery. I said as much to M.
"There were lots of English living around here," M. said. "A hundred years ago, I mean."
The surrounding houses became larger, more ostentatious and older.
"Do you know that if a house is over three thousand square feet it needs external help to clean and maintain it?" I said. "That's how maid agencies see it."
"I can see that. Think about it - that's three times the size of our apartment," M. said, as we passed several elegant houses which were most certainly over the threshold. "In that case, maybe we should buy a house that is two thousand nine hundred square feet so that we can make sure we never need external help, or maids."
"OK," I said. The house on my left was sporting mock-Tudor style exposed wooden beams. "I don't like that house. I hate mock-Tudor."
"Well baby, we can't afford any of the houses here, you know."
"I'm still entitled to have an opinion on the type of house I would like."
Later, at home, I read through the catalogues from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware while M. was fiddling with the computer.
Is the deer still lying by the road, its broken neck resting on its heavy body?