We have a very close relationship with our next door neighbour (let’s call her Nicole). She and her family have lived next door for as long as I can remember. I remember her mother, and it was Nicole who called my parents that something was wrong with my grandmother the day she died. Her husband and my dad used to talk football (soccer) together, endlessly despairing about our home team which has made a career out of failing one way or the other, and her daughter and I used to play together when I was visiting with my grandparents.
Once upon a time there were doors in the fences between all of the properties in our block, so you could visit with all the neighbours without actually going out on the street. Now there are a lot of new people living here, many of the old properties have been split, and all the doors are gone, except for the one between our property and Nicole’s — and that one is just the slightest bit silly as there isn’t actually a fence between our properties anymore, just this door.
Nicole is the source of much amusement in our daily lives because she is just the tiniest bit weird (in the best possible way, of course). For example, she is always complaining about something, so many of our conversations go somewhat like this:
[Unintelligible mumbling and grumbling across the non-existing fence.]
Me: What’s wrong?
Her: Oh, it’s all stupid, I went to the stores because I wanted to buy new curtains but they don’t have what I want.
Me: What do you want?
Her: How would I know?
Nicole is also friends with another neighbour in an adjacent street (let’s call her Brynn). Brynn is a bit weirder (again, in the best possible way) and also tends to conduct all of her conversations shouting, because she used to live with her mother, who was hard of hearing. The other day, Nicole and Brynn went into the city, and when they came back on the city train, they were sitting opposite each other, and next to Nicole was a woman who was talking on the phone and apparently felt the need to apprise her interlocutor of her exact whereabouts at every stop: “Now we’re at ….” “And now we’re at …” (There is a stop about every two minutes.)
This went on for a while until Brynn couldn’t take it anymore and trumpeted: “And now we’re at ….” before the woman had a chance (and apparently it shocked her so much that she hung up the phone).
I had heard this story yesterday during the day but it somehow didn’t register in my fever-addled brain until the moment I was getting ready to go to sleep. Somehow the whole scene suddenly came alive for me and I couldn’t help picturing the rest of the ride (Nicole and Brynn had three more stops to go, not sure about the woman) and I was laughing like a madwoman (not a good idea as this brings on cough attacks) and coughing and laughing and coughing and thoroughly disturbing Isla who had curled up with me to sleep.
an unrelated possibly related note, my cough sirup contains 24% alcohol. Also codeine. Maybe I should go easier on it.