Because today is Wave All Your Fingers at Your Neighbor Day, our Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is Neighbor. If you decide to write a post based on this week’s prompt, be sure to go back here and share your link so everyone can see how you interpreted things! Here’s what I did with it…
When I was a very young kid, I remember living on a street where we actually knew our neighbors. The family that lived behind us had a very large garden that, to my small eyes, looked like a full on farm. They had a trio of daughters who babysat me and my sister on the regular. Two houses down from us, there was an older woman who would look after us in those afternoon hours between Dad leaving for his second shift job and Mom getting home from work. We weren’t close with many of the others on our street, but I can still remember the names of the elderly couple that lived next door to us and the lady that lived on the other side of our house.
In our next home, a 3-bedroom apartment, my parents knew several of the other residents of our building. They stepped in and called the police on an abusive man who lived with his girlfriend in the apartment above us. They were friendly with the couple that lived across the hall from us. There were no kids in our building, so I never had many interactions with neighbors. Toward the end of our time living there, a younger family moved in across the hall. They had a couple of very annoying daughters, whom I avoided at all costs.
Our next house was in a place where it became a lot easier to interact with neighbors. Behind us, across the alley, lived a woman and her adult son. They had a basketball goal in their driveway, so my sister and I were often allowed to go back there to shoot hoops (very poorly, I might add). Next to them, on the corner, was a large family with lots of kids. They had a son who was close to my age who I liked to hang out with after school for a while. Then one day that kid had another friend over who didn’t want me hanging out there anymore. That really discouraged me from interacting with any of the kids in our neighborhood from then on.
We also had an old man that lived behind us who hated our dogs. To the point where the attempted to kill our dogs on more than one occasion. We knew it was him. He wanted to know it was him. But he was very careful not to leave the kind of evidence for which he would get in trouble. We had to give our dogs to other homes because of that man. Soon after my family moved out of that neighborhood, we found out that the old man got into a drunken fight with someone down the street which ended in him shooting himself in the stomach and trying to pin it on the guy he had been fighting with. It didn’t work.
As an adult, I can honestly say I have not taken time to get to know any of my neighbors in any of the homes I have lived in. Maybe that’s a little sad. But I’ve mostly lived in apartments. If I lived in a house with a yard that required me to spend time outside taking care of things, it would make more sense for me to run into my neighbors from time to time and, perhaps, even form relationships with them.
As it is, where I live now, I never see any of the other people who live in this building. Well… not never. But we’re all ships passing in the night. Occasionally I’ll hold the door for someone. I’ll nod or say hello if I pass someone checking their mailbox. I’ll speak if sharing the elevator with another resident, but, slow as our elevator is, it’s not a long ride. Point is, there really aren’t opportunities to organically create relationships with neighbors in my building. It isn’t like Friends or Seinfeld where I know the people that live across the hall and we just pop into each others’ apartments.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to know the people who live next door. It would be nice to have friends who live close by. But that’s just not how it is.
Thanks to everyone who participated this week and shared your links! Please visit their blogs, give them a follow, and take a look at how they interpreted the prompt.
Be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next Sunday Scribblings prompt! Encourage other bloggers to challenge themselves with the prompt! Remember that there are no rules for what you write, other than responding to the prompt! You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, biography, instruction… it’s all up to you!