What began as the American Dream for millions of families across America has segued tumultuously into the American Nightmare because they’ve lost their homes to the scourge of foreclosure. The constant anguish…the inexorable progression of the legal teams…the devastating separation of family and home…these events have turned many former homeowners into disenfranchised individuals who are without a roof over their heads to call home.
There’s a family somewhere who understands exactly what I’m expressing because it happened to them. I don’t know who the individuals are yet I stood in the very place they used to call home yesterday when I went to look at the foreclosed property. My feet stood in the living room they used to gather in. The kitchen they cooked in.
Our house is known among the sanitation workers for having a tremendous amount of trash on pickup days. Sometimes I count the bags of trash that I place outside and it outnumbers the other houses on our side of the block (we must be the topic of much spirited discussion at the depot…). Our wealth of trash must have aroused the curiosity of the sanitation inspectors who have found a way to give me tickets for seemingly minuscule infractions.
I received a ticket once because a pizza box had oil stains on it—the orange oil stains that come from the pizza. The inspector said that the pizza box was “soiled,” so it should have been placed in the “regular” garbage. My defense was that it was paper and I put it in the paper recycling. Her retort remained the same. I asked her what would happen the next time an inspector came and noticed a pizza box in my black garbage bag (they have an uncanny way of “noticing” things) and she said, “if you don’t like it, fight the ticket.”