Last year at around this time, give or take a few months, I took you with me on a walk around my town. (I think more than a few readers didn't really understand that it was, in fact, really my neighborhood in which I found every single one of those signs I pictured.) This year, though, I'm not out and about as much as I was before. It seems like I'm either down with a migraine or getting over one, or there's something else taking up part of my day. Add to that a healthy (unhealthy?) dose of Sloth, and there could be a maximum security prison under construction around the block unbeknownst to me.
Probably, it wouldn't surprise me. Ours is an old neighborhood--or was, until the mainstays started dying off. Now it's a little schizophrenic. The Old Guard died, and their heirs, already ensconced in homes elsewhere, couldn't always easily sell the parents' house in a cold real estate market. Our street is now an odd mix of rentals, New People, and suddenly, children again.
Rick and I are now The Old Guard. We are The Mainstays. And hell be damned sure I don't want to die on this street.
But it's funny. Every once in a while, this town can make me laugh. Not at it, but just laugh. I stopped at this stop sign because, well, it's a stop sign, but also because of this:
"That's so random!" one of my students would say about the next sign I happened upon. I feel like it is, except it looks like a fair amount of work went into it. It was tacked up on a telephone pole at a busy intersection about a block away from the hospital. It was at a stop street, so it got a fair amount of attention. It either fell down or was taken down about a month after it appeared.
You know how when you go to the DMV/License Bureau to renew your driver's license, and you look at the people and wonder, "Where the hell are all these people from?" Because, you know, they look like someone hosed out the drunk tank at the jail and told them all to wait there. Or like it's Central Casting for a show called "My Life On The Streets." These are The Neighbors You Don't Want To Know. It's bad enough that there's proof positive that They're Out There. You don't want to have to stand behind them while they "git a sticker fer th' trucks." And how is it that so very many of these individuals own boats?
But I wouldn't mind catching a glimpse of Smash on a late-night sign-hanging run, sign in hand, staplegun safely cached in a hoodie's tunnel pocket. Or seeing the two little Beliebers giggle as they run and scotch-tape their sign on a nearby post, clapping and hugging each other when they're done; then sharing an earbud each to listen to Justin himself on a pink iPod while they dance.
They're my neighbors, after all.
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