Thoughts on Neighbors

“If you think about something more than three times a week, you have to write about it.” — Louis CK

So something happened the other day, and I’ve been mulling it over long enough that I think I should post about it.

Readers of this blog will recall that our neighbors … well, they don’t think too highly of us, to put it mildly. I honestly have no idea why. (I wish she’d talk to me like an adult instead of just screaming or muttering under her breath; maybe I could try to fix whatever it is she’s been mad about for the past eleven years.) Anyway, I was sitting on the porch a few weeks ago (middle of May; prom season), when a car pulled up in front of the neighbors’ house. I was reading a book, and the dog was out on the porch with me. We were enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

A moment after the car door shut, I heard a glorious voice say, “Well, look at you–aren’t you just gorgeous!” The voice was filled with love and pride and warmth, and I looked up from my book with a sense of pleasure. I honestly thought that whoever had gotten out of the car had looked over at my porch, had seen my dog, and was gushing over her. (She’s a Husky, and she is, I’ll admit, quite pretty.)

But I was completely and utterly wrong. When I looked up from my book, a smile already coming to my lips, I realized that the young woman who had gotten out of the car was Belinda’s granddaughter, all dressed up for prom. And she did look stunning in an emerald-green gown.

It was Belinda–the neighbor who hates everyone in this house–who was speaking to her granddaughter with such love and admiration. I did not recognize her voice … it was the first time I had ever heard her speak without screaming. (At me or at someone in my house.) I took one last look at Belinda, hugging the radiant girl in the beautiful dress, and I turned and went into the house. And I felt a bit sad, because I know that Belinda will never speak to me in that kind, happy, friendly tone.

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