Growing up, a neighbor seemed to watch every move made on our street. It was if he knew what we were going to do before we did. I am not saying we looked for trouble or were malicious. If anything, the kids on my street were more on the goodie-two-shoes side. But, of course, that didn’t stop “That Neighbor” from watching and reporting every slight misstep. We all knew this, and so did our parents. Maybe that’s what kept us away from horrific errant ways.
Over the years, I have lived in numerous towns; each had a person who watched the street. Everyone in the neighborhood knows or has an idea who claims the moniker of “That Neighbor.” This person reports on what the people living on the street are doing. They pass on things like; who is remodeling, who is getting a promotion, what kid did something wrong or right, or whose moving in or out. But, until now, I was never really sure how they obtained their information.
Why am I bringing this up? It seems that I have unknowingly become that neighbor. Since 2018 I have been at home. I didn’t realize how much goes on during the day. A neighbor a few doors down also retired around the same time and I guess we have unofficially formed the “That Neighbor” club. We love to share our intel. Some might call it gossip, but it’s more than that. We keep an eye on the street, ensuring that nothing unsavory happens. The rest is… well, you can decide. While my neighbor and I have yet to reach the reporting stage, except to each other, someday we might include others in our club.
I now realize that the old neighbor from my youth was just trying to keep us from more significant troubles. This revelation has given me a new outlook on the man. Perhaps we all need to provide a little more understanding to “That Neighbor” who serves a hidden purpose.
Do we all become cantankerous with time, or do we see things from a wiser perspective? That question is one we must all answer for ourselves. I’m going to choose wiser in some unforeseen way.
I write this as a light-hearted observation. I might be “That Neighbor,” but I know and hopefully can see the lines not to cross.
"Writing is the flow of life through words on a page. We all have this talent to share." Luca DiMatteo