Old Man With the Cane

March 7, 2012
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The people next door; across the street; the people I never met: neighbors. My parents are always talking about their childhoods when they would ride their bicycles to so and so’s house, or share the pond in the backyard with Johnny, or even, race down the street with their next-door neighbor, Claudia.
Not me. I have never interacted with or even seen my neighbors.
My home is upon a hill, overlooking the ocean. I am isolated from the world around me. The street where I live is always busy with cars. When a ball rolls down the driveway, it is not the mean old man with the cane that I am afraid of, but the bustling street that smells of burnt rubber.
All of the houses are blocked from each other by rows of trees. Trees that stretch and grow upright like a giraffe straining its neck. I remember the neighbor’s tiny white dog becoming a wild beast and bushwhacking its way through the tyrannical trembling trees, but apart from the dog, there have been no grand interactions between us and them. Even after ten years, I am not sure I even know my neighbors’ names.
People I know have stories of meeting their new neighbors with casserole dishes and cookies, the children the same ages, the parents becoming close friends. No children exist on the bustling road where I live.
No children. No old man with the cane. No sneaking over the fence. No crashing at the closest house. No racing down “Cherry Lane” on bikes, with hair flying, and eyes twinkling. This is not a part of my street.
Just endless woods and water to explore and casserole dishes and cookie platters made by my family and me. Our own perfect place.

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