Fall 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 4 Nonfiction |

Suburban Stories

1 That evening he thought he was becoming his habits, or—even more—he thought he had become the grid he knew. He knew his city's first 17,000 houses had been built within three years. He was aware of what this must have cost, but he did not care. The houses still worked. He thought of them as middle class even after he learned that 1,100-square-foot tract houses on streets meeting at right angles were not middle class at all, that middle-class houses were the homes of people who would not live here. 2 When he thinks of his parents, he remembers them as they were in their early middle age—energetic, strong, and more capable than any other adult he knew. He is older now than his parents had been at that point in their lives, and he is less competent than his father and mother seemed to him then, even less competent than they were in fact. This thought rarely troubles him. 3 The distance between my house and yours is a separation the suburb's desi

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