Knowing Your Neighbors

I grew up in the suburbs and I lived on a dead end street with about fifteen houses. I knew all my neighbors. I knew all their faces, all their names, and all their pets. We had block parties where the whole street would come out and eat guacamole and socialize. There were a bunch of kids my age and we spent summer nights playing a never-ending game of Kick the Can. After school and before homework, we played roller hockey, baseball, football, and jumped on trampolines until our backs hurt. If mom ran out of eggs making dinner, we would just run across the street and ask to borrow some. Life in the suburbs is awesome. We even knew our mailman by name.

Then I moved out, into the city and into reality. I’ve lived in the same spot for five years now, and I only know one family of neighbors and that’s because we live in the same building. I recognize their faces, but I don’t even know their names. I kind of prefer it that way, I like the mystery. We nod to each other when we see each other. Sometimes we engage in awkward small talk. We have a mutual agreement where they take out the garbage and recycling bins and we take them in. For the most part we don’t bother them, and they don’t bother us.

I don’t know the neighbors that live on the houses next to us. I don’t know the family across the street. And I don’t know why. Even though there’s a lot more people living in the city, sometimes a sense of community is missing. And that’s sad, because sometimes you need an egg and the store is so far away.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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