We have new neighbors. They seem nice enough, a couple with two teenaged boys. I met the boys and they were very polite.
But that is not what I am writing about. Truth be told, our former neighbors, divorced, precipitating their move. We didn’t know them well. But we spoke, some and they were nice. They were quiet, them and their two teenaged children; a boy and a girl.
It makes me sad because I know there must have been sadness there. Or it could have been something that simmered for years and finally it was time. They will both be happy again if they let themselves. It always works that way.
The wife left first, moved out to a new place. The husband, left behind, soon had an overnight guest on the regular. Does it sound like I was nosy? No, because we have side-load garages that face each other across the narrow space of our driveways. I suspect they knew some things about us as well…it’s just the way it is.
Not that it matters, it is not my place to cast blame. The wife might have cheated or been so hard to live with he couldn’t take it any more. Or maybe he was a whore-dog. It doesn’t really matter though does it; in the larger scheme of things. It’s a marriage that’s broken up and their college students will no longer come home to an intact family. Maybe they care, maybe they don’t.
Still, when something ends that is not supposed to end, I think it takes a little bit of the positive energy out of the universe. And I feel it.
We have another set of neighbors diagonally across the street. Something has gone on with their marriage as well. We knew them a little better, but still, if they wanted people to know they would have handed out flyers. They have a young girl, maybe ten years old. She was born when we first moved to the neighborhood and so we knew her a little bit too. Dad still lives there but Mom only comes to drop off or pickup…I suppose on visitation times. Another dent in the universe.
Our neighbors directly across the street, nice people are selling their house. He works for a global company, so maybe he got relocated again. I hope that is the case as they have two young boys. He recently had to fight back from cancer…it damaged his vocal cords and so he is hard to hear. I hope it wasn’t hard on the family.
We found out later, that those neighbors directly across the street, didn’t want to move. But with the crazy housing market they thought they’d see if someone was willing to pay a crazy price for their house. And indeed people were, just not enough to make it worth their while to move. Once, when he was struggling I used my snowblower on their driveway after a big blizzard. I would have missed them.
Meanwhile, in the living room, the television is on and I can hear Audrey Hepburn (or at least her voice double) singing to Rex Harrison that she “can do bloody well without you.” Thankfully, in the end he gets her back. That’s not the way Shaw’s original work ended. In college I acted the professor’s part, played opposite by another senior named Holly (which is coincidentally my wife’s name). It was a scene portrayal for a senior acting class and I knew Shaw’s works very well. In our, more faithful version, Eliza indeed leaves and stays gone. But Shaw gave his blessing to the more uplifting, fan-centric musical ending. Despite being a socialist, Shaw knew the monetary value of playing to your audience.
And even George Bernard Shaw understood, there is enough heart break in our realities. We don’t need made up ones.
© Glenn R Keller 2023, All Rights Reserved
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