Cauldron

I like books.

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I live in a small town and enjoy writing about the inhabitants. I spend most of my time perusing through used book stores looking for that one great book that I don't have; consequently, I have rooms filled with books. I am a book addict.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

My Neighborhood.

My neighbors fight. On both sides, they fight. The heterosexual couple in townhouse 2 fight over his drinking, I hear it and see it and so does their baby. I want to interfere but don’t. She kicks him out, he stands in the parking lot howling, she yells, the baby cries, he goes back inside, and they have make-up sex. They are young and hopefully will learn better foreplay techniques. I never see marks on either one of them, or at least nothing on the face or arms. The marks on the baby, however, are starting to show. He cries all the time and wants his mother to hold him constantly. He is afraid. She brought him over for me to look at and says she thinks he is sick. I look at him and tell her he looks fine, she says he cries all the time; I say maybe he is reacting to you and your husband. She says yeah, we get a little loud. I say it will cause him emotional scars. She hasn’t spoken to me since.

The couple in townhouse four are gay men around my age; although, the one guy looks to be a decade younger. They have a fifteen-year-old son. The boy is sweet, and when I bake cookies, I give half of them to him. He is always all gothed out and thinks he looks scary or mysterious, but I’ve had teenagers and I know it’s a part of their life, not the gothic stuff, but being different. But his parents are in need of couple’s counseling. The younger doesn’t work, the older works two jobs. What little time they spend together is spent fighting or smoking cigarettes talking about fighting, I am not nosy, they are just real loud. Their son, hides in the back of their truck watching the stars. I say to him, what do you see, he names the constellations that he knows, I give him an astrology book, he says way cool. The younger of the two lovers wants to be my friend, he, I think, sees us as mutual in relationships, the stay at home, housecleaning part of the relationship. He asked me about floor cleaner, I say Lysol or bleach. He asks me why I am going to school, and I say to learn, and he says why put myself through all of it, and I say why not? He walks away and I say hey next time you hit your head on the cabinet door, you might want to go have a doctor look at it. He puts his hand to his black eye and says, thanks. Next time, I am going to tell him about shelters for abusive partners.

This new neighborhood is different than my other and the people are so young and have young people’s problems. I guess the fighting is what bothers me, and I wish they would stop. My husband says it’s none of our business, and I say it is, they are our neighbors. Relationships, especially those of neighbors, are really fragile and one wrong word or look or act can cause a rift that, if you’re lucky, will only result in uncomfortable silence in the parking lot, but sometimes it turns into a feud. So, I will observe, help if asked, and hope that soon, we get new neighbors, older neighbors. Like the couple in number five. They are too far away for me to hear, but they tell me they are glad that we are normal. I wonder what they mean, normal.

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