The Not So Distant Future of Real Estate

You walk down the middle of your tree-lined street peering at oversized doorbells in the shape of familiar icons: Compass, Corcoran, Douglass Elliman, StreetEasy, and Google. You know the way home but it’s more fun to pretend that you don’t and instead search for the big Amazon Prime Open House (AmPro) sign. Today they have something special going on at your place  (a 1600 square foot, 3 bed, 2 bath, garden duplex with laundry and storage – by the way!). You’re 50 feet away when you notice your home’s front bay windows pulsating shadows of emerald, crimson, and violet.  As you ascend your well known brownstone stoop, you pass petunias and impatiens you never planted. Interesting. You don’t hear the song Truth Hurts until your foot touches the top step.  You love this and for the next 10 seconds you tap your shoe against the gritty milk chocolate colored stucco. The music plays on and then off, on and off…  Eventually you walk through the beautifully refinished 19th century mahogany double front doors that your condo was too cheap too restore and glance right into your parlor floor living room. A jam-packed crowd jumps in time to the music with a black lingerie-wearing, Lizzo leading them through a routine of hand-gestures you’re not hip enough to recognize.  She gives you a confident wink but you’re distracted by an eager banana bouncing between the ceiling and the delicate coffee table you just purchased from Trailer Park

In your kitchen, people dressed as animals, super-heros, movie stars and politicians meander about. They inspect pantries, run appliances, open windows, shut doors, and turn off lights. Someone disguised as Andrew Cuomo is taking a bath in your stainless steel double sink. You activate the inverted caret tattooed to his neck and discover that it’s your neighbor Bill. You also discover his income and credit rating. Bill really needs to learn to manage his privacy settings. 

You avoid the kids’ rooms and the bathroom (you’ve always hated them) and head out back to your deck where a second Lizzo, flanked by the Big Girrrls, videos herself with the new aPhone 4K©. 15 foot high Echo speakers partition your garden on three sides as a gala of old Hollywood dances on a bed of poppies you never planted under a cobalt blue sky full of gold Amazon customer review stars.

Even though it’s your home, and “your party,” it’s not your scene. No one notices as you elevate past the second, third, and fourth floors of the old red brick backside of your townhouse. Soon you’re high above the roof with Prospect Park to your right and the Statue of Liberty to your left.  You zoom over picturesque Park Slope row houses and past the Empire State Building in no time flat.  Below are the familiar icons – Compass, Corcoran, Douglass Elliman, StreetEasy, and Google – flashing open house signs like carnival freak show yelpers.  One out of every 5 is a Lizzo GIF dancing the Renegade on top of an orange Amazon smiling arrow.

But your focus is north. You reach the star you bookmarked two weeks ago and hover for 10 minutes. From your perch you see no one enter or leave the Westchester dream home you put an offer on yesterday.

Eventually you sign into the open house. There’s no music. No Lizzo. No crowd. No furniture. No broker. And no buyers.  You pray this means the sellers will accept your bid.

Later, back home, Lizzo gives you a thumbs up as things wind down. The banana is the last person to leave and you give Alexa the command to close down the open house. You settle into your favorite easy chair and raise a glass of rosé from the coffee table you just purchased at Trailer Park



Categories: Monthly Musings

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