Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Fast Lane

My neighbor, H, must in his mid-sixties. He's been retired for 18 years. From what I can discern, he has no hobbies, no volunteer commitments, no destination.

He does work on his house, though: contemplative nail by contemplative nail for eighteen years.

He also takes care of quality control on our block. When you see him standing in front of your house, you know you've got trouble -- crack or crumble, detected.

The folks on the corner are doing a massive remodel. H stands vigil, at least half an hour a day, watching the wood without a word.

Stairs are crumbling across the street. H pondered those yesterday, then moved to the longish grass next door to stare at that and send meaningful glances toward the windows.

He did tell me that he's going to teach Merrick to park his tricycle on the grass. Too untidy left on the sidewalk.

This morning I saw him in front of our house. I ducked and scurried another the windows to a hidden vantage point. H stared at our crumbling masonry. For a long, long time.

Then he sent the look (toward the window I had been before) and moved onto the next yard.

I may really get wild and have the kids leave toys in other people's yards, just to give the poor guy some genuine problems. Encroachment.

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