Monday, March 14, 2016

the neighbor

We have a neighbor down the street who has a lab mix I call "Good Dog" because she is so well trained and so sweet.

I won't mention my neighbor's name and I've forgotten 'good dog's' real name. But here's the thing: about 4 months ago, my neighbor and his truck disappeared. There is another guy who used to be there about half-the-time and his car is there in the mornings and late afternoons now.

And Good Dog is still there--but not outside as much since the guy there now obviously works and our old neighbor didn't.

So, back to the beginning. When the old woman who lived in that house either died or went somewhere to die, the new neighbor moved in. He was too young to be retired (late 40's to early 50's) yet he didn't work and he and Good Dog were outside a lot. Very friendly. We talked as I walked Bela and Good Dog never came near Bela. So we could talk and I wouldn't have to drag bad dog away down the street.

This was 4 or 5 years ago. I never asked him what brought him to Cheshire and he never asked me either. Some of our neighbors know all about each other and some don't. And we honor that--we live in Cheshire for a reason, after all! Privacy is honored. Friendliness doesn't have to go very deep.

So, in my head I started inventing background on my neighbor. He was ex-military (the easiest solution for his not working) and he was well built and healthy. Then I thought ex-CIA or ex-Secret Service--both entertaining ways of explaining him.

After the guy who lives there now started coming for a few days at a time, I assumed they were lovers neighbor was in the Witness Protection Plan and the visitor was his contact who would come to let him know when he would have to testify.

That was full of adventure in my head, let me tell you!

But on 4th of July and Easter my neighbor threw huge parties for people with out of state license plates (I know, I know, I'm a creepy snoop!--but I walk Bela every day past that house, OK?) So, who were all these people? He couldn't be in witness protection unless the Federal Marshalls were bringing their families on holidays. So--back to ex-military, ex-CIA.

Then he disappeared. And 'good friend/lover' moved in to keep Good Dog. I saw good friend the other day out washing his car and he looks a lot like my missing neighbor, so maybe he's a younger brother.

Every time the scenario changed, I lived out different former lives for my neighbor.

So where is he? Not in Florida for the winter since he'd have taken Good Dog in his Truck, that's also MIA. Recalled to the Military? Called up to be Secret Service for Donald? Federal prison for reasons I can't imagine? He died and his brother sold the truck and is devoted to Good Dog? And a dozen or more such stories.

I told a friend all this and he said, "why don't you just knock on the door and find out the truth?"

I thought about that for a long while and then said, truthfully, 'that wouldn't be as much fun!'

Before our cat, Luke, died, I used to realize I didn't want to be in his mind. I might never get out it would be so cat-like and Byzantine. I could get in and out of Bela's mind without much effort.

All this might tell you something: you most likely don't want to wonder what goes on in my head either....

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About Me

some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.