Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Back Side

The Back Side

I have always thought that the alleys behind houses were more interesting than the streets in front of them.

The front of the house is the display side. If people care at all how they live, this is where they put on the best “front.” Things are spiffy, in their place, decorated to make an impression about who lives there.

The alley generally shows a different story. On the back side of houses you can observe how people really live, rather than how they want others to think they live. This view may be nice, but it can also be messy, trashy, disorganized and worse. There is a lot less pretense on the back side.

Because of that, alleys often display their own kind of beauty. It is usually a relief to get off the street and find an alley to walk down, even when you have to side-step some old tire, a mud puddle, a pile of debris here and there, and so on.

People are like this in themselves as well. There is the display side, which is what others are supposed to see. Then there is the back side, which may be quite different. If you ever find a way into someone’s alley and get a view of the back side, then you may catch of glimpse of the real person in all their messy beauty.

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