Model home

They moved the Mason-Dixon line south. They kept the veranda.

I suppose you don’t put ceiling fans and wicker rockers on a townhouse porch or city stoop. You don’t paint the back deck canary yellow.

It’s a quiet walk home. But when the wind picks up on a summer evening, the rocking chairs tilt and the wooden blades turn, and I can almost see them: After a long day at work, Dad yanks down his tie. Mom watches the kids play. She dabs her neck with a wet gingham kerchief. A pitcher of iced tea sweats on the table. Mr. and Mrs. Thornbull wave from across the street.

The sun disappears. The air cools and turns to soup. A dozen air conditioning units kick on, as one. Living room walls flicker blue beyond lighted windows.

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