It's all a big deceit.
And I know it.
But I just can't help myself. I just have to participate.
I just have to enter its magic, just every now and then.
I try to drive on by.
I tell myself I'm not going to stop this time, that I won't even cross the threshold.
But then I do.
Ah, model homes.
How they beckon me.
Their perfectly manicured lawns, zoysia carpeting the vista surrounding the sweeping walks and immaculate porches.
I open the heavy, glass front door and a wave of icy air conditioning washes over me.
And then I'm in.
The baseboards are immaculate, gleaming. The colors on the wall are perfectly hued. The furnishings are perfectly arranged, plumped and posh. I wander the rooms, sliding my hand along beautifully hung draperies, slick counters, shining spigots. The children's bedrooms are artful and whimsical, tailored duvets spreading the beds, a vintage collection of books gracing the corner of an immaculate desk. The media room is ready for movie night, a popcorn machine primed in the corner, heavy brown velvet drapes ready to create perfect dampened lighting for best cinema viewing. The master bedroom closet features pyramids of beautiful hat boxes, a tower of class and chic. Five pairs of stiletto heels wait in artful repose, ready to be donned for an emergency cocktail party.
And I let myself believe, just for a little bit, that if I moved in here, this is what it would look like. I could keep it looking like this. I could wear heels every day. And I would have manicured nails. It could all happen if I lived here.
Then I see it. It's there, in the beautiful front study, an ornate desk of mahogany resting in front of the windows overlooking a small courtyard. Right there. That's the moment. The moment the illusion shimmers back from mirage to desert.
Because on that beautiful desk rests a mock computer and antique phone.
And there are no cords.
No cords. No cords anywhere. Not in the butler's pantry linking the espresso machine to its needed electrical source. No cords string the computer like an umbilicus to the printer and the external hard drive and the camera and the video camera. No cords linking the pretend DVD player to the pretend plasma flat screen. No cords from the video game console wrapped like a spider web across the media room.
And when I see the lack of cords, then my vision clears. And I see the lack of wet towels on the bathroom floor. And then I see the lack of Legos in the boy's room. And I see the lack of naked Barbies in the girl's room. And I see the lack of crumbs along the kick plates of the custom kitchen cabinets.
And the halogram of projected perfect house-ness hits a glitch and freezes and falls.
Okay. I see it now. It's a stage. An immaculate stage for mortgage surgeries. I get it.
And I'll be cured for a bit. For a bit.
But one day I'll be driving by again. And I'll just have to go in.
Because my alter ego haunts the place. Her nails are manicured. And she's always wearing heels.
In that alternate reality known as The Model Home Zone.