vaguely feel like there should be Tindr for neighbors

My old neighborhood is kinda like the original Nintendo of Nashville.

I mean Woodbine (my old neighborhood) was good…at one time. Then it kinda fell off — and now there’s this weird nostalgic desire for it, after everyone else upgraded to their new neighborhood, but the NES is like creaky and doesn’t have HDMI hookups.

Like you have to blow on Woodbine to get it to work properly. The location is great, the taco trucks are awesome, a library was only a mile away.

But what really made Woodbine — the neighbors.

There’s the guy with the goat. He would always walk the goat. And then somebody who wore a half watermelon on his head. Then of course the man who plays the tuba in the tunnel because trolls in his backyard told him, too.

There should be a Tindr for neighbors.

Swipe left on goat man.

Swipe left on melon head man.

Swipe right on Tuba Man, but left on his trolls.

I lived in Woodbine for six years and never felt threatened or in trouble or anything.

Except once my neighbor Tommy (swipe right on Tommy…good guy) said he was outside and someone ran off my porch right at him, asking for money and a ride downtown (it wasn’t me). I asked where he came from and Tommy said he didn’t know, just out of the dark.

My other neighbor Randall let us use his secret backyard cabin all the time, it was like no one knew it was there (except the trolls maybe?). Swipe right on Randall, too. Randall swears the cabin was randomly built by one of his friends, but it was like a studio apartment with nice fixtures, it was nicer than our house.

The neighbor next to Tommy is named Marvin and once Marvin told me how some coyotes came down on our street and he kind of rubbed his foot in the gravel or something to make noise and they left. Marvin had a lot of guns, I know that. I think he shot a dog or a squirrel once — that’s kind of a big difference, but I can’t remember.

Hmmm…Marvin. Generally, good guy. Swipe right.

Another neighbor, Jakob, is like a podcast king. His podcast is actually called Neighbors, which is kinda confusing to explain — but really it was only my problem, Jakob didn’t have that many real neighbors talking about his podcast.

Swipe right.

Other neighbors — Eric who owns a burrito truck, Bob and his brother who live down the street, the people with the random junk in their front yard all the time, Miss Joan who made my daughter a quilt.

Remember that guy from Kroger…???

He lived closer to me than I’d like to admit. I’d walk my dogs and I’d see him sitting out front of this house. He had a couple of dogs, one who couldn’t walk on its hind legs. After awhile I came by and realized that half the house had burned out, and this guy was still living in the garage apartment with his dog who could barely walk.

Swipe left on that guy I guess.

But if I got to choose…

If I got to choose my neighbors, I probably wouldn’t have chosen anyone that’s different from me.

That’d be a shame.


Hey! I wrote a small book about Woodbine. It’s super cool. Normally it’s a few bucks, but enter the code “bam” and you’ll get it way cheap— nice nice. GO HERE> WITH THE CODE: bam


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I’m Josh Spilker, a writer and author. I blog about the writing process at Create, Make, Write and write essays at Vaguely Feel.

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