The backyard s’mores party for the neighborhood kids on the last day of school was the perfect time for Karl to show off his new fire pit. The pit was tubular, silver, and more than a little phallic. Smoke got sucked into the sides of the contraption and kept it from the women’s hair and clothes. (Which, Karl thought, they would appreciate and compliment him for.) Karl could see his convex reflection on its’ shiny, perfectly smooth surface. What a man he was.
It was one of those backyard parties where, in a movie, everyone would start sex-swinging or be secretly in a coven or perhaps be complex robots unaware of their own nature. It was the way of the suburbs to imagine that the exotic and chaotic lurked beneath the quotidian surface. The blandness was sinister. Like, clearly sinister, evil, horrible, a desecration of the earth itself to live like they did — destroying large swaths of prairie to install big box stores, extra wide parking spaces, and identikit houses that wanly gestured toward an imagined, vaguely feudal, European, past that was pure fantasy. Yet people fled here from the city because they felt it was safe for their children.