Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Man Next Door

the man next door
by Mary Stebbins Taitt

The Man Next Door

When I go outside to take a walk, the man next door is mowing his lawn.
His back is turned to me, and I quickly cross the street. At the end of the row, he turns and sees me. I wave. He nods.
I was hoping while his back was turned to get past so that my back was toward him before he faced me, but I wasn't quick enough.
I am uncomfortable. I feel anger, shame, annoyance.
That man called the compost police because our son failed to bury the compost deep enough and the squirrels uprooted it. This was behind the garage, out of sight to any but the most prying eyes. The compost police said, "no more coffee grounds and orange peels, only grass clippings and yard waste."
The man next door has a dog that barks. His children yell and scream. We do not call the dog police. We do not complain about the noise.
But I feel less than eager to be his friend. He seems less than eager to be mine, and I am ok with that.

originally posted to Cowbird.

I wonder if I should work on my dislike of this man.


John said...

He doesn't sound very nice Mary.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

He always frowns at me, but I don't feel very enlightened disliking him.