Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Yesterday morning, as I started my car, I noticed there was someone walking behind my parking spot. I thought it was odd, since I never really see anyone behind the house when I leave in the morning. It was one of my downstairs neighbors, who I’ve rarely seen in the two years that I’ve been living there. I don’t really know much about him. I used to hear him fight with his girlfriend, who’s now long gone. I sometimes also hear him playing his bass or organ. That’s about it though.
He walked behind my car and stopped at the rear window to my right. There’s a very small space between the wall and my car, so it was an awkward spot to pick. Not sure what to make of his approach, I lowered my window and said hello. He greets me and says that he’s sorry that he never talks to me. All I could say was “Don’t worry about it. (pause) It’s a cold morning huh? (long pause) What are you up to?” He agreed that it was cold and that was that. He moved out of my way and stood next to his apartment door as I pulled out of the parking area. I waved at him as I passed him, feeling that there was something wrong and wondered if I should have talked to him more. It was a weird way to start the day.
Later that day, while driving to lunch I picked out Kid A by Radiohead out of my CD booklet. It was a very busy day at the office and it felt nice to be away if only for my lunch break. My mood welcomed the sounds of Kid A, which I hadn’t played in a while. “Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon”, sang Tom Yorke. It’s one of my favorite Radiohead lyrics. I thought of my neighbor as I continued listening. What made him want to approach me like that? What happened with that girlfriend? Maybe I was imagining, but it was almost as if I could feel his pain when he was talking to me. I might never know, but next time maybe I’ll try to ask him more than two questions.