Wednesday, September 15, 2010

my neighbors and alternate universes

I have neighbors like most other people.
We are friends, wave, say hi 
and enjoy having each other as

My neighbors remind me everyday the fragility of 
the mind.

We live next to two group homes
(and a lovely, older, alcoholic who likes
to listen to rock n roll, often loud)

"M" is a good friend who is bipolar and likes to write stories.

"D" is "M's" best buddy, they loves to crack each other up and you can hear their contagious laughter from blocks away.
 "D" has severe diabete's and not sure what else.
 He plays swords with the boys
and lets them jump all over him.

"M" has long conversations with the boys.
"Can we come up "M"" the boys yell up our small hill separating the houses.
"M" has been a good friend, feeding our cats when we are away, asking if I need help if he sees the need and just generally having thoughtful conversations.

There is also "C" who used to own a  successful bar and was found walking down the middle of the highway one night. She walks a lot and finds treasures on the side of the road. I helped her move into her own place last year. She did not make it there.
She returned about five months ago. She forgot to eat.

"P" is a recovering drup addict and wheelchair bound. He was doing well making lots of money in the tech field only to discover cocaine.
He is an intelligent, born again, guy who seems lonely and knocks on his housemates doors all night looking for companionship.

"J" talks with a slur. I understand some of what she says.
She told me she once owned a cabin in Wolf Laurel.
She loved living alone with her dogs. I gave her a hair cut last week. (I was not too confident in this but she really wanted it cut and no one else would help her)
She has a big space in the front of her mouth where her teeth used to be. It makes her smile better.
She always waves to me and asks how I am doing.

Another "J" can often be found at the top of the parking lot talking about something to himself, seeming amused and happy about  his conversations.
"How's it going Broomhilda?" He yells to me all the time. He makes me laugh.

There is a quiet "M" who I see walking a lot. Always in a down vest, winter or summer. Once or twice a year he forgets to take his meds and can be heard reciting proclamations about Jesus and the bible for hours at a time. I feel like I am at a revival ;o).

Rocking chairs aline the porches of each house. Cigarettes are plentiful and glowing at most hours of the days and evening until "lights out" at 10.

One gentleman, can't remember his name, sits in a rocking chair all day looking at himself in a mirror. He is grumpy and other residents stay away from him. Wonder why he is so grumpy? 
He came to my house last week with his social worker 
(she was quiet and a bit embarrassed) 
and asked how many cats I had and why he had to feed them.
I asked him please not to feed my cats because they are on special diets and that if he did not want cats coming to his window, he might not want to feed them.
(Was that too mean? I did take him to the bank once.)

I love my neighbors. They are the watch dogs of our little dead end street. They send me waves and smiles everyday and remind
always, that life is fragile and you never know when your mind
can deceive you and you are living in an alternate universe.

(By the way I have not fixed my kiln YET but have plans to do it this weekend!)
(I did work in my studio this week though!)

1 comment:

  1. We have a group home on our street too, mostly young men, but they are a little too far away from our house to see very often and they keep to themselves. However, Carrboro is like it's own little group home and we know a lot of "interesting" characters. Makes life so much more colorful don't you think? My grandmother lived in a group home later in life because she had dementia and she was VERY colorful! It's nice that your kids can interact with them, they will be better people for having known them.


Your words inspire me to do and be more. So do your thoughts but I just can't read them yet! ;)