Wednesday, June 6, 2012
The first thing I noticed when I moved was my age. I didn’t fit the bill -much older than half of the residents; much younger than the other half. Ironically, my children and those of the other tenants all seemed to be the same age. There is the blue-haired lady who wears red lips and heels to help her into a whopping 5’2”, the girl who may have been my student a few years ago, the overbearing older men –always willing to hold a door and offer a beer -and the younger men who look down when I walk by so as not to get in trouble with their girlfriends, the maintenance man who has fixed all of my problems within minutes of my asking and has no problem lingering for conversation.
And there is the distant curiosity. The anti-snob factor, if you will. I watch the pierced mother sledding with her daughter every day. I see that the blue haired lady doesn’t have to walk far in her high heels and high hair; her husband, gentlemanly and serene, pulls up the car to the rear door so she doesn’t slip. The middle-aged men and their ladies cleaning off a car together, cigarette smoke blending with the winter breath, laughing and invisible to critical neighboring spies. The lonely divorcee who might be a saving grace to more than just his children.
I learned time. Quite by accident, I learned that icicle factory in the sink is not a six a.m. activity. Hammers are strictly afternoon tools. I learned that my need to be done with the weekly housework before I shower should not include vacuuming; those fall in the same category as hammers, as do musical instruments, super-man capes, and children’s video’s that encourage children to, “say it louder!” Evening activities go on even after I’ve fallen asleep at the late hour of 8:30, as evidenced by parking cars, stair climbing, and door closing/key jingling. In sum, time and noise are one and should be respected in conjunction with the hours one can visit the attic.