Most of the time I’m fine. But sometimes, the loneliness really gets to me. It did today. I have a lot of good friends, family that loves me, and you couldn’t create a better ward from the ground up. I don’t have a lot to complain about. It’s just that sometimes…
Today my old neighbor called from my big fancy house. The one I left quietly- holding my utterly smashed heart leaking from between my shaking fingers- that house. It’s on the market now. It’s also legally not mine anymore. The phone rang while I was hauling groceries from a quick stop at the market after our family hike this morning. I was juggling three dirty, tired kids, and about 6 bags of food, with 90 degree + temps in the house.
My old neighbor was calling not to say hello, not to chat or ask how the kids and I are faring. She was calling, she tersely informed me, to let me know the yard looks like hell, and I had better do something about it. Stunned, my hands full of groceries and a kid pulling on my leg begging for lunch, I stammered. “The yard? Huh? What?” See, I don’t go by there anymore. I go out of my way to not drive by that house. I think for anyone who knows me, the reasons are pretty obvious- so if the yard isn’t getting mowed, it’s not something in my realm of awareness.
I think I stammered something about the house not being mine anymore, and she could call another number if she was concerned- and she hung up. And for some reason, this just really crushed me. I know, in the grand scheme, it’s not important. But she was my neighbor for three years, and she didn’t care one whit about me or my children, only that a house on her street wasn’t looking up to snuff for the neighborhood. Stupid neighborhood. Stupid appearances.
When she hung up, I went to my room and sat on my bed in the dark. I was sad, but I couldn’t figure out if I had enough in me to cry over this. Odd. All I could put my finger on what that I didn’t know one single soul who who I felt had ever been in my boat. And I bobbed along over the surface of the sea.
Someday, if this is ever all behind me, and I have the chance to own a home again, I have learned two things: you get nicer neighbors in less affluent neighborhoods, and that I think a small house suits me better. So I guess that’s something… right?