Neighbors. They watch us coming and going. They wave and they greet. They offer assistance while trying to sneak peeks through our front door. I am pretty sure the Magical Land of CandylandTM is elsewhere, not necessarily contained in one modest rowhome. "If you need the car moved just ask. Well, I never move the car, he does." Um. Yeah. "You sure got a lot of stuff. Our kitchen's so small. Your place looks so big!" GET AWAY, FUCKERS. Stop peering and leering and stop telling me about your friend who used to live here. I'll tell you something about your friend, she dumped a cloth scrunchie and a mascara applicator and a toothpaste cap down the bathroom drain and it took us 3 bottles of Drano before we figured out the "clog" was a solid. Fuck your friend.
Everyone has at least 15 kids, with the exception of the young couple next door. I fear for our childless state.. I fear the cautiously friendly eyes will turn resentful and aggressive after time goes by and we fail to spawn. I fear our failure to show up at block parties will result in ostracism. Cool, casual disregard I can take. Hell, I welcome it. I loved living in South Philly where no one said hello and no one tried to stare into my front door and people didn't expect me to do or be or say anything by sole virtue of our incidental proximity.
There was a lady begging outside of the local Acme and no one shooed her away. Despite my normal loathing of beggars I felt a twinge when I walked by, and I have my fingers crossed that there was something about her or whatever causing it, not some knee-jerk reaction to a scrungy middle-aged woman begging. (Although the way people seem to age in these parts, she may have been 22. I don't understand how it works yet, but more and more I'm guessing people at 10 to 15 years over actual growth.)
Now if you'll excuse me, it's trash night and someone down the block is throwing away a milk crate. I'm going over to beat them up.