I really want to meet my neighbors across the sidewalk. Every night I shut the blinds in my tiny apartment to look out my window to see a piece of artwork hanging on one neighbor’s dining room wall. I never see the neighbor in there, just the painting. Looking from a distance, I never could tell what the painting was. One night I was on my way back from my car and could finally see the painting was a VanGogh. I figure any neighbor who has an appreciation for a man of that caliber is worth paying attention to. However, I don’t want to alarm the neighbor, knock on their door and be like, “Hey I look in your dining room occasionally trying to figure out what artwork you have on your wall, wanna discuss this sometime? Do you like art? Would you like to discuss the complexities behind the painting hanging on your wall and the man behind it?” Chances are: 1. I’d get the door slammed in my face. 2. They would say they just liked the painting and know nothing about it or possibly worse, know nothing about VanGogh…or 3. even worse call the cops.
The other neighbor is a little more peculiar. I only say this because every time I see this person, they are always smiling. Never a frown; there is always a smile on their face. Lets face it, no one is EVER that happy; not even me!
The other day I was walking to my car to greet the man who is supposed to replace my car window that was broken the other week. On my way to seeing the window man, my neighbor walks by with a huge smile on their face and nods in my direction, no other neighbors are around. I felt crummy because my car had been broken into, and to look up and see the neighbor smiling at me for no reason other than to say hi with a whimsical smile was nice, and a bit odd at the same time. They weren’t scared by the fact I had my nerd glasses on with no make up and interesting blue and purple highlights in my hair whilst wearing a St. Louis Cardinals FOOTBALL shirt. Already this neighbor in my book is alright.
Today I go to open my back patio door after having cooked and baked my famous Butt Burning Burritos, to find this same neighbor opening their door, and whistling a pleasant tune. Hearing this whistle made me think of something my mom said when I was kid. She told me a story about our Uncle who used to whistle all the time, and it wasn’t just a mindless whistle, she said it was a “beautiful” whistle. This neighbor has to have the same whistle, I just know it. The whistle is reminiscent of a 1950’s Disney cartoon. Usually in the cartoons, the whistling occurs right before Mickey finds out Pluto has done something wrong, but until then its Mickey whistling mowing the lawn while Bluebirds buzz around his head . The neighbor’s whistle was much like Mickey’s, very sweet, genuine, happy and canary-like; the kind of whistling that only existed in the 40’s and 50’s, until now. The main reason I want to get to know this neighbor; they need to teach me to whistle like that.
I’ve been tempted to find reasons to get to know these neighbors just to say hi but it will have to be strategic. I’d have to talk to “The Whistler” first, because if I talk to the neighbor with the VanGogh painting, they’ll alarm “The Whistler” and then they’ll both be expecting an ear in the mail. Lets face it, I’m not willing to put forth that much effort into getting to know my neighbors.
What behaviors do your neighbors have that make you want to know them better?