Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who Are These People In My Neighborhood?

We've lived in our new neighborhood now for seven months. I'm an observer, I watch things, I notice. What I've noticed is that we traded the oddness of Midtown for the weirdness of East Memphis.

It is people that make up a neighborhood and, while Midtown may have no end of characters, I've got a guy who walks in front of my house all day, every day, it seems. Every time I glance outside or sit on my front porch, this guy walks by. I have no idea where he's going or, if walking for exercise, how many laps he makes around the block (neighborhood? region?).

There is a gated community across the street from our house and the side that faces us has the typical swath of grass between the sidewalk and street. Typical, except for the fact that this 12-inch wide strip of lawn is mowed every. single. day. The lawn service contracted to handle the common areas of the community pay particular attention to this grass. It's fascinating. It's beautiful.

A park sits a couple of blocks away, abutting Richland Elementary School. Brennan Park. At any time you can go to that park and find three or four kids' jackets. I'm not sure if the park is swallowing children, save for their outerwear, or if students are taking their jackets off after school to play and then forgetting them. Probably the latter.

Every neighborhood has an ice cream truck. Ours plays Christmas carols. All summer long.

Sometimes I have to leave the craziness of my house and its nine inhabitants. When those times come, I find my escape in the bizarreness that's out there, beyond my front porch.