No Trespassing

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No Trespassing

  • Sebastian Matthews

    Sebastian Matthews is a writer and collagist living in Asheville. He teaches creative writing for the Great Smokies Writing Program. His third collection of poetry, Beginner's Guide to a Head-On...

Dusk

My boy’s team is meeting at Biltmore Lake to celebrate the end of a long season.  The Brownings have reserved a point, replete with fire pit, a couple of picnic tables. Two sturdy ducks with red masks parole the area like boardwalk thugs.

A loose circle of parents drink beer. I watch as Bob stacks wood for the bonfire. Oh, hell, I think, I better help Bob. But as I approach I realize it’s not Bob but some lake staffer filling the wood bin. I keep walking, pretending I didn’t make the mistake. He pretends too.

This is a wealthy community—waspy elite, country club, retiree, golf crowd wealthy.

The wood the young man has delivered is perfectly cut for the pot. The lawns trimmed to fairway length. I hate these kind of places. And, despite myself, I feel at ease in them. On the surface, I fit in. Inside, I am roiling. There are my people’s people, not mine.

I am now approaching the shoreline, which is evenly populated with huge lake houses. There is a trail, “for member’s only.”

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“I’m with the Brownings,” I’ll say. “They’ve put me up in their guest quarters.”

The dusk light, the low 70s weather, the steady breeze—all of it feels pre-ordered by the board. I walk until I’m out of sight, just me and the roughneck ducks, the rustling trees.

I trespass until I feel like turning back. No one will know I was here.