When we first moved into our house seven years ago, our next door neighbors were wonderfully welcoming. They lent us tools to use when we worked in the yard, they helped us repair our roof when the ice storm hit, and they brought us tons of freshly canned fruits and vegetables that they grew in their own backyard.
But as time went on we started seeing them, especially the man, less and less. He was already quite elderly when we met, and was suffering from a number of different health problems. And now it’s been about a year since I’ve actually seen him at all. So here’s my quandary: I think he might have died, but there is really no good way to find out whether or not that’s true. Because no matter how I’ve tried to formulate this question in my mind, it always comes out sounding like some variation of,”So, did the old fart finally kick the bucket”.
And what makes it worse is that I have seen a new man over there, quite frequently. And I can only assume that he lives there, because almost every time I’ve seen him he’s been standing outside the front door, smoking in his underwear. I’m not a smoker myself, but as far as I know being almost naked is not a regular part of smoking protocol. I have friends who smoke, and not once have I ever had a conversation with them that went like this:
My friend: “Hey, Jenny, do you mind if I go out on your porch and smoke a cigarette?”
Me: “No, not at all. Go right ahead.”
My friend: “OK, great, thanks. Just let me take me take off my pants.”
So there you go. Monica and Rachel had Ugly Naked Guy; we’ve got Nearly Naked Smoker. I can live with that.