(photography by Tabitha Bird)
He is not obliged to look at you. Not obliged to be anything other than blind. And he likes it, this blindness. The way his eyes are opened without seeing. The way his mouth can kiss words like, "I tried," when he never moved his feet.
He imagines who you are. You aren't like him.
He likes his walls iced with roof on top and his windows edged with shutters. The way his house holds him in, tucks him back, and presses around him. The way his mouth can whisper words like, "I didn't know," while he stayed inside and held his own hand.
He imagine who you are. You are outside.
He likes winter's teeth removed by central heating and summer's sticky fingers wiped clean in his pool.
He has long forgotten words like homeless, penniless, anchor less or voiceless. Because he is not less. He is middle. Middle class, middle age. Middle income. Neighbors are people who park cars in the driveway next door. Strangers are everyone. Even him. Especially him. He has become suburbia. When he walks through the front door he can mute the channel when refugee eyes stare back. He is not obliged to look at them. Not obliged to be anything other than blind.
He imagines who you are. You are not on his island.
What about you? Do you live on the island of House? It is so easy, too easy to lock ourselves in behind picket fences, mowed lawns and automatic garage doors... don;t you think? Is there a group of people you tend to forget about because you are not 'less'?