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Cars race down pavement, blood cells traveling the veins of the city. They carry the oxygen keeping the city alive; some crash and burn, some arrive safely, some get banged up on the way. They all stop somewhere.

Doors slam, people yell, kids run, and bones break, tapping out the city’s heartbeat. It is an unsteady beat, fast and then slow at the drop of a dime. It tries to keep up with its inhabitants, but it is tired and follows as best as it can.

The city has a lot of history, like anyone. Millions of people following after the last generation, busy lives and crazy loves and everything in between. The history it celebrates, remembers, posts on its walls and its city halls and calls people to remember with it, is the sanitary one. The politicians, the famous people who lived here or were born here or who died here, on the beach.

This is not that history.

This is the history of the children of the city, the heart and soul. The forgotten ones, the lonely ones, the ones beaten by parents or other kids, by themselves or by the world. The happy ones and the sad ones; the live ones and the dead ones.

Homecoming: prodigal son returning to an empty house and an empty heart. The music carries him.

Paradise: never ending summer and true love for the Casanova realized. The music inspires him.

Rebellion: unlikely role model, storming in and out of his life like a hurricane. The music haunts him.

Heartache: jilted love, forgotten in the city streets and the cold beach and the sullen waves. The music pains him.

Dysfunction: neglected child pushed to the streets to save himself from the fists and the beer bottles and the anger. The music forgets him.

Wanderlust: restless soul searching for something he can only ever find in himself. The music propels him.

Discord: suppressed student, realizing that love is more important than an image. The music ignores him.

Dysphoria: fragile mind, teetering on the brink, just this side of crazy. The music grounds him.

Uncertainty: lost sheep, searching for his place in the cosmic universe and finding it in religion. The music inspires him.

Disbelief: innocent child growing up with yelling and death as his playmates. The music protects him.

Warfare: young soldier, losing everything to a cause he believes in only because it has been all he knows. The music fails him.

Apocalypse: the beginning of the end and a young renegade caught up in the downward spiral. The music kills him.

This is the history as it was, as it is, and as it will be. It is the story of the song of the people, not the one sung in the concert halls or the auditoriums or the amphitheaters, but the ones sung in the halls and in the streets and in the cars of teenagers racing down the highway, blaring music and drinking too much and going too far. In the walls that have heard too much, in the pillows that have soaked up too many tears, in the ocean waves that have received the troubles of the world.

It is the song that is sung not by the important, the elite, the well adjusted. It is sung by the last of the real ones, the last young renegades, the American idiots and the fabulous killjoys.

It is the song of the century, and of the centuries to come.

Welcome to Suburbia.