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Upstairs neighbor

My upstairs neighbor is the only person in the building that I talk to on a regular basis, not because we're buddies but because he's always on the balcony. It's a tiny overhang, directly above the building's side door, and that's the door I always use, and when we see each other we say howdy.

We've said howdy a thousand times, and fifty times we've had brief but actual conversations — him above me, smoking a cigarette, and me below, fumbling with my keys.

Stick with me, I'm wandering toward a point.

Our city has 'alternate side parking' rules in the winter, so even during the lockdown I gotta leave and return through that door every day. Driving down the street, often I've noticed he's on the little upstairs overhang, but by the time I've parked and gotten out of my car, he's gone inside.

I think he recognizes my car, and leaves the balcony before I've parked, to avoid the ritual of saying 'hi' and the danger of having a conversation. It's like he's some kind of a damned hermit or something. Like he wants nothing much to do with other people. Like … like he's like me.

 

itsdougholland.com 

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