I don’t know the name of the man who lives two doors down from me.
Because I don’t know, when I think about him, I call him “Bob”, as a placeholder.
As in, “I wonder why Bob is home so late?” or, “I sure hope Bob doesn’t play that album on repeat for three days, like he did, last time” or “Bob’s cooking something that smells delicious, and now I’ve realized that there’s no food in the house and I have to go to the store”.
In case you’re wondering why I’m not telling you about my immediate neighbors, it’s because Dale and Shirley are a wonderful couple who often travel, and are never around.
Bob is the interesting one.
To be honest, I’ve never gotten a good look at him. I’m not going to say that I haven’t camped out, just inside my door, waiting for a chance to nonchalantly wander into the hallway at the same time that he does. Or that I’ve waited with the lights off and the curtains pulled back a touch to see if I can see him walking in from his car. Because I have done those things. It’s just that something always happens. The phone rings, or my cat does something cute, or Rickey from the east wing is creeping around.
Like we don’t all know that he’s seeing Judy in 502.
He tried to talk to me once in the elevator. It was gross.
No, Bob goes about his business, and I go about mine, mainly.
Maybe one day I’ll actually introduce myself. That would be the neighborly thing to do. Bake some cookies and take them on over. I’ve thought about it. Bob seems like somebody who would like chocolate chips. “Sara,” he’d say. “I like chocolate chips.”
It would be weird, though. It’s been a year. Too long to admit that I don’t know his name.
You know how that goes?