Part Next - The Subdivision
The sky was pink when she pulled the big black SUV over to get the mail. She looked up at the mountain out of habit but couldn't see either horizon from here anymore. She used to really enjoy that view. Sometimes picking up her mail was the longest time she spent outside all day.
Now garages faced the street on two sides. To the south was a huge power line corridor and on the north was a concrete channel where the arroyo used to be. It was painted with oblong spots of gun metal gray that covered the graffiti. She got a perverse thrill out of seeing fresh bright colors on the wall in the mornings. It testified to some life in the neighborhood. There were otherwise no views except from the second floor windows of the house on Lot 3. The master bath toilet.
The subdivision sign he'd had designed for the entrance was an illuminated stucco monument to the formerly visible western horizon. The distinct hills were represented by little bumps across the top. Is that supposed to be a dinosaur? a niece asked. Kids rode it, wrote on it, and destroyed the lone locust tree - a remnant of required landscaping.
She had asked him back then why he couldn't change the lot layout, platted by the previous owner, and get some nice custom home sites with views. If he filed a new plat, she thought to herself, he might be required to put in sidewalks. Maybe she could get him to save those three pinon trees by the arroyo.
But he said it would cost too much cash and time for revisions and resubmittals. Months of money.
What's your hurry? You have the money. What's a few months? The lot lines you draw are set in stone. Lot layouts last lifetimes. You could leave a legacy!
His eyebrows went up. La de da my legacy! Then he shrugged. Gotta watch the bottom line. Buy you a margarita?