where i'm from  

carla solano


Because you heard the way I speak and you saw how I dressed and stood, you wanted to know where I was from.

If I said that I was from Barrister Court, where the houses, quiet both day and night, stand as perfect copies of each other, do you think you might know where I was from?

Where I'm from, neighbors collect the mail while you're away. Friendly chats have given way to absent-minded waves as you back the car down the driveway.

Where I'm from, sounds of lawnmowers replaced sounds of children playing in the cul-de-sac. Every home is still seen in terms of the children it once sheltered, though they are grown and gone.

Where I'm from, the rumble of the P&W rolling down the tracks provides a soothing lullaby late into the night, and the blare of ambulances as they pass in the distance brings a comforting reminder that safety isn't far.

Where I'm from, you fix your roof, your siding, and your driveway. Houses aren't allowed to reach the point of disrepair, so a fresh coat of paint or new landscaping is applied.

Where I'm from, you take turns coming and leaving as the day goes on. First go the bankers, then the professors, the administrators, the doctors, and the lawyers. At night, they pile home in a similar fashion—the bankers, the professors, the administrators, the doctors. They walk through the door while the day is still bright. When the sun has fully set, the lawyers come in last.

Where I'm from, the mailwoman is greeted by name, not position. As Annette distributes your mail, she suspends her phone conversation to announce, "I swear, your family receives twice the amount of junk mail than anyone else on my route." She's gone before you can respond, her phone wedged in between her shoulder and ear, as she navigates two doors down to deliver your neighbor's third Amazon package this week.

Where I'm from, the year's first snowstorm sends husbands out in jackets and scarves. The snow blower is shared amongst them. One family always makes sure the woman at the end of the street, who lives by herself, has a clear driveway.

Where I'm from, snow is shoveled in winter, flowers are planted in spring, barbeques are cooked in summer, and leaves are raked in autumn. Where I'm from, you stop to admire how the Christmas lights reflect on the snow in the moonlight, the same way they've done every year, for as long as the houses have stood.

Carla Solano is a junior double majoring in Political Science and English with a minor in History. She enjoys traveling anywhere warm with a beach, but is more likely to be found at home eating ice cream and watching Netflix.