At first glance each and every house in Levittown would seem lifeless, repetitive, dull, mundane and almost unbearable. For example, the houses as they all appear the same. You would automatically assume us ‘Levittown disciples’ all live the same boring life, doing the same boring thing, every single boring day – what fun!
However, if you just take a moment to step outside the box we all appear to be trapped inside, inhale the bigger picture and open your eyes you realise that each individual house is full of different families, comprising of different characters, each living extremely different lives in different houses.
Take me for example, Levi.
I know what you’re all thinking ‘Levi from Levittown’ – how ironic! First of all, my dad chose it and secondly it’s actually rather catchy so I’m not sorry in the slightest!
I’m the middle child of three boys belonging to my parents, Rod and Sue. My father is on annual leave from the Marines and my mother, Sue, is a doting housewife. My father is a very powerful character; I look up to my father and aspire to be just like him.
My brothers are John and Lee. John is a city boy commuting to his full-time job as a City Broker and my younger brother, Lee, is only three years old and a full-time nuisance.
I am 11 years old and currently in year 6 at Levittown Primary School. During my spare time I train and exercise with my father to eventually join the Marines just like him.
It’s Lee’s birthday today, he’s turning four. Mums baking a cake and simultaneously cleaning and buffing dads brand new brogues. Lee is playing in the garden with me whilst I admire dad’s medals (I sneak them out of his precious medal cabinet whilst he is not in). Dad is out at the pub with his Marine friends at the moment. I have to be extremely careful with dad’s medals, if anything were to happen to them he would hit the roof. I guess this means they are precious to him and worth some sort of value.
Sometimes, when dad is out I pin all of his medals to myself and parade around the house with mums mop in hand and dads work boots my feet pretending I am just like him. This is Lee and I’s favourite game, although we daren’t tell mum. She would only worry we would break something and upset dad when he comes home from the pub. She worries a lot.
It is very cloudy today; me and Lee are wearing our matching pillow-box red raincoats and green striped wellington boots in the back garden. Lee is pulling out a clump of the weeds and chatting away to himself like a madman.
Dad’s medals look absolutely magnificent even when they aren’t glimmering in the sunshine. That’s when I like to get them out the most, when it is glorious sunshine and they sparkle like stars.
I’m watching Lee and fiddling with my favourite of all dads’ medals. Some of dads medals are thin, some of them are thick.
My favourite is the thinnest of them all, so thin I have to take extra care when admiring it. The delicacy of the medal sort of makes it feel more precious to me even though I am fully aware the importance of them all.
I look away from Lee gazing at the dull, moody grey cloud coming over above me. SNAP! Oh no, oh no, oh no! What have I done! I reluctantly peer down and realise what I have done. I’ve broken it! I’ve only gone and bloody broken it! Dads going to hit the roof, absolutely murder me!
I have no idea what to do, I can’t hide it as he will know, I can’t fix it as that is simply impossible and I can’t ask mum as she doesn’t know I have snatched the medals out of dad’s safety cabinet.
Boom. The front door swings open, dad bounds in grasping a shiny ruby red coloured box. “Alright Champ, I got something for you”.
Crippled with nerves, I squeak “Dad! Your home early! Erm, erm…I’ve got something to show you to…”.
“Oh you haven’t got those bloody medals out again have you boy. You may as well keep them in your room, they’re no good to me!” dad booms.
Relief pulses through me. Maybe he’s not so bad after all.
Sophie Driver’s short story was inspired by Richard Forster’s Levittown exhibition. This is what she has to say about it:
Hello! My name is Sophie Driver, I’m 21 years of age and currently live in Bexhill. I find writing in general very interesting and have chosen to investigate further into creative writing as it has recently caught my eye. I have always found unfamiliar words very interesting and throughout my career as a Legal Secretary (training to be a Legal Executive) have kept a ‘vocabulary booklet’ where I write down any interesting words I come across however weird and wonderful. I attended Drawn to the Page workshop at the De La Warr on 21st May 2016, which was absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would definitely attend another workshop in the future. From that workshop this is what I have created …