The Human Parts Open Thread: Letter to a Stranger
Human Parts

Dear Next Door Neighbors,

You’ve been occupying the home on my immediate left for all of the three years that I’ve lived in my little house. You drive a Volvo that has a “U.S. Coast Guard” sticker in the rear window. You have several small boats in your backyard that appear to be in various stages of (dis)repair. You faithfully drag your trashcans to the curb early every Monday morning, the clanging-scraping noises they make on the driveway serving as my weekly reminder to bring out my own trash.

You have a child. A girl. She was not here the first year I lived in my house, but then you had an infant. Now, I see her toddling around your front lawn next to your raised garden.

I learned last week, through common Facebook friends, that one of you is named Tom.

Tom, I’m sorry, but I don’t know your wife’s name.

I’ve lived next to you for three years, 30 feet away, and yet I don’t even know your names and I’d be embarrassed if I were ever asked to identify you within a crowd.

I’m a terrible neighbor.

But so are you.

The Girl Next Door

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