The grass is longer than it should be compared to the other homes, the leaves are wadded against the foundation, matted in the shrubs and clotted in the corners where the fence meets the house. The little bicycle is propped against the garage door waiting for its boy, who isn't coming. The windows have the look of sad, empty eyes. Even the "For Sale" sign in the yard seems forlorn. This house doesn't seem to be as much for sale as it seems to represent the disappointments of so many people who have been caught up in the fraud and mismanagement of the mortgage market and the resulting economic doldrums.
The homes in Speedway are not McMansions. Since there is little open land in town, there are very few lots available for new building. For the most part, all the homes are well-tended and cared for, showing the pride of their owners in the carefully trimmed lawns and painted shutters; when one of them is neglected, for whatever reason, it quickly becomes obvious. Sadly, there are several places like this in the area, most of them with the tell-tale notice in the window ..."Here lies a shattered dream."
I do not think the dream of owning a home is strictly an American idiosyncracy. I think everyone the world over wants a place, however humble or spare, where they know they can peacefully raise their family and safely rest their head at night. To assume otherwise seems mighty condescending, and to abuse those dreams for the chance to make it big on Wall Street, talking people into spending more than they can afford, is past callous ...
Even more so when it means a little boy has lost his beautiful bike.