I’m happy to report that neighborhoods still do exist — only in a new and different form than most people are used to. In my complex, I’ve got pool friends. People I run into at the supermarket across the street. Parents whose kids say “hi” as they dash around the terrace.
Some of their names I know. Buffy, for instance, was born for stand-up. Will is one of the brightest, most gentlemanly young guys I’ve EVER met (You did a great job, Daisy). Mason, Hudson and Charlie are absolutely gorgeous little guys, with hair that this old man envies. Others, meanwhile, get nicknames: the dentist, the mayor and his wife, the ab master (talk about a six-pack).
Then there’s the peaceful, smiling gentleman I call Roshi, tender of his bucket garden — and, apparently, a closet Yankee fan. There are the conscierges — all helpful and attentive (though I think they tend to smoke too much). We even have one with the same name as me who could’ve played a Corleone on the big screen.
And yes, you too, Juan, crack maintenance man. You fix things to last.
On July 4th, people began setting up early — like, 8:30 in the morning — on the terrace. At first, everyone went out of their way to respect each other’s space. But as the day went on, that space began to shrink and the sharing began — food, drink, laughs. People scooted over so that others could see.
By the time the first bomb burst, we had a block party goin’ all up in here.
So here’s a SHOUT OUT to neighbors — to all the cool people who stop to say “hello,” who ask how you’re doing, who hold the elevator while you fumble with the mailbox key, who pick up your towel when it blows off the chair — and who laugh and play with your kid even as he whizzes toys past their head.
How thee, neighbor? Excellent, I see.
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