Thursday, April 03, 2008


Spring is here and people are out. I’ve been remodeling the back yard as I’ve moved our garden from a scorching sunny spot to a more shady (and hopefully fruitful) one.

Tonight Melissa and her mom were pulling the dead weeds out from in between our fences. This gave me and Agent Wife a rare opportunity to say hi and chat. Melissa is the single mom who lives next door and has only been mentioned vaguely on these pages once.

Despite what readers may think of these files, the truth is out: the agent b household does NOT have it all figured out when it comes to neighborly friendship and community and all that trendy emergent stuff.

We have been next-door neighbors to Melissa, her pre-teen daughter, and her entourage of come-n-go family (both parents, a sister, brother, in-laws, nieces and nephews) for five years. But we hardly know her.

My excuses for not getting to know Melissa:

1) When we moved here, she was married. But six months later they went through what I suppose was a divorce (he ain’t living there no more). Several neighbors and I witnessed some of their fighting in the yard. Whenever I talk to Melissa she always acts timid or threatened by me, like maybe I have a great home life and she doesn’t. So I figure that’s a good excuse to leave her alone.

2) She works a lot. She’s probably the only one on the block with a real job. Plus, her kid gets signed up for every little league sport there is. So they’re hardly ever home.

3) She always has tons of family over. So, I know she’s not lonely.

4) She doesn’t come out much.

5) And oh yeah…once about two years ago my whole household was awaken by her loud nite-club juke box in her living room. She was having a big party. I slept through it for an hour, but when I woke, I was pissed. It was 2am and I went over with my flannel pants on and did my best COPS imitation as I beat the hell out of her front door with the side of my fist. She opened up stark raving drunk. “WHO the fuck are YOU?”, she yelled. “It’s me, B, from next door. Can you turn it down?” She immediately felt embarrassed and has acted ashamed around me ever since, even when I give her a friendly wave every day.

I have really prayed for a door to open between her household and mine. It’s silly that we live 15 feet apart from each other and can only give shallow greetings on occasion.

CEO - meet Melissa’s needs and allow a friendship to develop between our households.

1 comment:

Jason & Nicole said...

Wow, this is a really helpful post for me. Thanks.