Author: D. Kinsley
Occupation: Sous chef
Little did I know that upon moving into my neighborhood that I was sooner or later going to have to go around in a circle and reintroduce myself at least a handful of times.
This is extremely challenging for me, because I don’t talk much. It is clear to me that my neighbors do. Every weekday around 5:45 p.m. I see them all out there in the driveway, beverages in hand, musing over the latest trailer-park prattle. It goes a little something like this:
“Who’s building a new fence and a loft above their trailer next?”
“I’ll do it.”
“Wait, does she have a permit for that thing?”
“The doctor says it’s contagious, so just keep that in mind.”
There is sometimes laughter that takes over the constant chatter, and that’s okay. It’s the rest of it I try my best to tune out. But living in such close proximity to one another makes this quite difficult. We live in a tight community — all 47 of us packed onto one lot.
“I’d like you all to know that, yes, I’m going out of town, but I don’t need you to collect my mail for me.” Thanks anyway, Mrs. So-and-So, but I’ve got it all figured out. And no, Mister, thanks, but I already have a dad. Isn’t that enough? Don’t they get me yet? I feel like I’ve been talking to these people every single day for the past four years, telling them none-of-their-business useless information: Yes, I do get up at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and, yes, I am spending the night at my girlfriend’s house again tonight. And no, I don’t care that you’ve been celibate for the past 25 years by choice. Okay, I’m just going to go quietly now and listen to the crows hollering incessantly instead of hanging around out here.
“J.D., are you in there? We were wondering if you left your underwear in the laundry room. They’re about as big as a postage stamp, and it looks like something you might wear.” Dear God, are they talking to me? Back to me again already? I thought I was off the hook for awhile. Are you sure we went around the circle again? It seems like it keeps getting smaller and smaller.
Okay, everyone — I have issues with people who have a problem with respecting boundaries. Yes, old man, that includes you. Don’t you think it might be a good idea to invest in some curtains? I see you lying in your bed at night as I’m lying in mine. Yikes! How can you sleep with socks on?
“No, I didn’t leave my skivvies in the laundry room.”
“Okay, sorry to bother you.”
Are they still lingering out there, even though I answered the question from the inside of my trailer home? Yep, they are still there.
“By the way, J.D, what current creative project are you working on these days?”
“Lattice and climbing vines for my deck.”
“Oh, okay — oops, looks like my beverage has run dry.”
“Okay, then. Goodnight.”
At last, another evening in the park is over, and I can go rest peacefully now.