My friend John Paul made a couple of posts about his neighbors lately and now he’s got me thinking about mine. The situation here is a little different. I live in a house. My neighbors live in my house. We have separate entrances, separate floors, separate lives. Distinctly different lives. This I know for sure because today is garbage day and there’s two recycling bins full of beer bottles on my front lawn and a bunch of cardboard beer cases in the paper recycling bin.
No, I don’t go snooping through the garbage. That’s gross. (And a little desperate, I might add.)
But I do tend to notice this stuff when it’s garbage night and I have to cram my recycling in the bin because the thing’s overflowing with crap that never was mine.
They’re noisy, too. They clomp around above me and play fetch with their puppies. I know this because I can hear them. I can hear them squeal when they get excited and cry when they’re sad. I can hear them cackle (and man, do they cackle). I can hear them in the shower, washing their clothes and walking on their deck. I know they like football. They have two kids who share custody with their father. I know when the kids are home and when they’re not. I know all these things because I can hear them.
Our mail arrives in the same mailbox. I know they’re late paying their bills. I know where they work and that they get greeting cards from folks who live near and far away. I know that one of them works at Frankenfurter in the summer and for the school district the rest of the year. I know they don’t like junk mail (because they let it accumulate in the mailbox).
The interesting part of it all? I hardly ever see them. And when I do see them, I don’t learn anything about them. Nothing.
I’m a detective, a voyeur. I’m trying to understand the lives of the people I share a house with, but from afar.
But no, I’m no snoop.