Saturday, May 01, 2010

My Neighbours

My neighbours are beautiful people. She is a sprightly old lady who always greets us with a warm smile. He is a gentleman, immaculately dressed in a button down shirt and trousers with creases so sharp you could cut your hand on them. They live on the ground floor. Every evening he walks out of his door and climbs one floor upstairs and then down again. He does this eight times.

They have a red car that is gleaming and kept in a state of perpetual polish. Sometimes I see them drive away and then come back, carrying a basket of folded laundry or a small grocery bag. I don't know if they have any children. I'm sure they do but I don't remember ever seeing anyone. Whenever I pass their apartment, I hear silence. No sound of either quarrel or laughter, no grandchildren tumbling out of the door. The inside of their house looks like a photograph from a catalogue, everything artfully preserved in its place. I was there yesterday to make a phone call and I saw a patchwork quilt on the dinner table. She was working on it, moving a needle in and out of the cloth, like minutes ticking away on a clock, like sand easing through an hourglass.

We don't know each other's names. They call me "doctor" and I call them "sir" and "ma'am". After so many years of moving around and making friends only to watch them fade away, I'm not so careful about collecting names. It is the essence of beauty that is attractive and I try and retain that. My neighbours are beautiful people.


Blogger aisha said...

"I'm not so careful about collecting names. "

hmmmz. I love the description of him walking up and down the stairs. But it's this line that hits deep.

You are not careful about collecting names because you know they might fade. I forced myself to collect a name so that it would never fade :D and now that I have no name it is just "anonymous" that remains. Lol...this makes no sense to you.. I am sure...but..

this was post was beautiful : )

5:39 PM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

thanks, aisha. i'm glad you enjoyed reading it.

9:09 PM  

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