Monday, September 8, 2008

I Spy: My Neighborhood at 5pm

My neighborhood is one of those ones jam-packed with houses. I feel like I could open my office window and touch my neighbor's fence right now. That said, there's some excellent people-watching to be had.

Of course, to have people watch me is an entirely inappropriate and much less enjoyable predicament. I, for one, would like to be able to go lie in the grass of my unfenced yard and read, or have my daily quesadilla picnic lunch with my kids without wondering if someone's peeking at us from their bedroom window, scoffing at the repititious food I dish out and wondering why I'm still in my jammies.

But privacy issues aside, I love the sense of community I feel here. I love all the friends we've made that live within walking distance. I love all the young families. And I love all the people-watching I manage to squeeze in.

The following is what I spy in my neighborhood (and no, it's not necessarily what I'd see at 5pm, but I'm ignoring that part of the writing prompt):

I spy a teenaged Hawaiian boy that lives at the end of our street skateboarding dangerously fast with his earphones in and his helmet on, swaying back and forth on the pavement, looking entirely cool and like he'd land himself in the ER if he were to hit a rock. Sometimes he has a chic on board with him, her hands wrapped deathly tight around his waist. She screams and he laughs and promises she's going to be just fine. I've never seen anything quite like it. I'm tellin' ya, that chic's c-r-a-z-y.

Across the street I spy a bald girl, about ten years old, who I assume is going through chemotherapy, and has a spout of fluffy hair growing out the right side of her head. She is always knocking on our neighbor's door who lives across the street. Almost every time I go outside I see this girl with cancer and her olive-skinned friend riding bikes together, swinging on the monkey bars, chasing each other. The chemo girl seems awfully popular with the neighborhood kids despite her sickly appearance, and that's a heartwarming sight.

Out my front window I spy the tan girl's dad barbequing steak and her mom taking a smoke break on the back porch, chatting away on her cell.

In the yard beyond that one I spy a middle-aged man fiddling in the back yard, in a long-sleeved flannel shirt no matter how hot the weather is. I still can't figure out what he's doing, but he's working meticulously hard placing and replacing bricks.

In the farthest yard back, I spy my pregnant girlfriend taking pictures of her picture-perfect family sitting in the porch swing they recently stained. I call to her as I cross the street to check my mail and ask if she wants me to take a picture with everyone in it for her. "No, thanks! We're good!" she says.

After checking the mail, I head upstairs to fold the wrinkled laundry that's been awaiting me all day. I peek out the blinds before I open the window to let in some fresh air and I spy a gal from church out for a jog. We wave to each other, and I'd hope she doesn't think I was spying...

I can't imagine why Magnet wants more privacy in our next house; I'm quite entertained right here.


  1. I LOVE people watching! Thanks for letting me in on some of the goings on in your neighborhood!

  2. I wish I could visit and sit at your window with you and quietly people-watch! :)




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