Friday, 22 February 2013


i just sent this following email to a few friends:

my neighbor passed away and his house is now up for his estate sale.  please pass this along to anyone you know looking for a house.  i'd love fun neighbors ;)
33 Q St NE
something about it felt creepy.  like i was all amped up to get something awesome due to the old man's demise.  i caught myself and realized that the way to honor the dead, is to enjoy what they leave behind and their memory.

to tell you the truth, i'd have to go into an email from another neighbor announcing his death to even tell you his name.  we were city neighbors.

in the early morning, i'd be running between ms. jackie and my gardens. he'd be in a robe, smoking. we'd wave.  he was too far away to say anything without being loud to too many others.  so, we'd just wave.

i was sure he thought i was crazy, jumping around the gardens.  i was on hyper speed then.

i remember seeing him in the front of the house.  i didn't recognize him without his robe, but i recognized the wave.  i was on my bike and waved bake.  we may have exchanged words, but i had earphones in so ... didn't have matter.  plus i know, if we had talked, i would have made some wisecrack about smoking or something so ... probably best we just waved ;)

he has a distinctive, manly wave. as if making a "W" with his arm and chest.  i'm more a hand waver.

i liked to think that he noticed when i quit gardening.  my story was, my backyard absence  motivated him out front.  (its incredible how powerful i am in my own head sometimes??)

when i heard he died, i was at dinner with other neighbors.  the fact that he died alone in that house jarred me.  i blurted out "that's my worst nightmare".  i guess he was dead for 24 hours before they found him (i could be messing this story up).

i panicked, thinking it would take a LOT more than 24 hours for anyone to know if i died.

i have this nightmare where i die in my sleep and no one knows for a month and the poor cats are forced to decide if they are going to eat me or die.

thankfully! the last few times i've had the dream, they don't eat me. (progress!!)

anyway, i'm glad i had you neighbor. (notice the verb: had.  for a time we did.  i drifted off.  but there was a time when i would have noticed the morning he wasn't there.  i miss that.  there is a safety in that kind of neighborliness. when you know each other's schedules and routines, the sounds of your houses, the difference between the kind of fight that is just an argument and the kind that needs intervention.)

thanks for being my neighbor, Bob LaRiviere!
(i looked it up)

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