It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I don’t like to take the time to decide if I don’t like them or not. My neighbors? Nice people. Quiet. Rarely home. Lovely, lovely, lovely. I helped the guy move a big television into his house once. His name is… something with a C? F? Hmmm.. not sure, but his name is Quiet Guy Who Is Rarely Home Who Bought A Big TV in my book.
But I now find myself the most innocent kind of green voyeur… peering with vegetative lasciviousness into any backyard I happen upon. Do they have a garden? Is it veggies? What kind of fence? Oh my! Is that.. an.. heirloom!!!! Oh yeah… daddy likes… you know I love it when you choose open pollinated varieties.
For instance, right across the street from me is a wide open field with an old stone wall. Just beyond that old stone wall (which once marked the pasture of some old farmer) is a house that showed all the signs of garden. On the front side of it, stacks of wood. Looked like they chopped it themselves. A well-kept, but slightly wild flower garden. Way in the back, a sunny, green expanse… with a small square-foot garden, fallow. It seemed to me that they were gardener types, but they just didn’t have one going yet. Sure enough, about a month ago, in the span of a single weekend they tilled a 20 x 25 foot space (not that I measured.. I’m a peeping vegetable tom, not a trespasser) and my goodness a fence to end all fences. Huge beams sunk deep, 12 feet of side walls, a ceiling.. my god a ceiling! What could they be planting?
I would walk my 1-year-old son and take him into the field, skirt the edge of that stone wall and pretend to see.. a chipmunk, a rabbit, a snake, a coke can, whatever.. just so I could pretend to show it to the baby and I could lean over to cast a quick glance. Are they composting? Are they mulching? Wait.. is it weed? My god! Do I call the cops? No.. no, it’s not weed. Corn? Tomatoes? Yep. Row after gorgeous row.
Now, I am certain that they saw me and wondered what’s with that dude and his baby pretending to look for snakes so they can see if we are growing weed…. But I also now harbor a secret shameful fantasy….
They have passed my house. They have seen my plants. And they have stared, turning the plants over and over in their minds, lewdly ogling my arrangements, admiring my luscious earth and sharp angles. They have discussed, late at night, in their beds and in their pajamas, what is he up to at #3? What could he be doing? He’s a genius! A master! We must… go…. meet him.
But that’s crazy talk. Who wants to go talk to their neighbors?