Sunday, October 30, 2011

THE NEIGHBOR



I met him and his family when they moved into the new house down the road.

"Do you like the movies? Call us sometime and we can go," he said. My new neighbor was friendly enough, though his children (stoic, stern) looked like they were of the corn, and his wife (blank stare, speechless) conjured images of a Salem wife.

Three months later he dropped by to say his wife and children had left him and could we go to the movies sometime.

The county changed our house numbers and gave my number to the neighbor. My house got a brand new number. In spite of filling out the required change of address forms, some of my mail was delivered to the neighbor's house.

Initially he didn't mind bringing my mail. "Remember, movies," he'd always say.

Eventually he started resenting his deliveries, and blamed me for giving him my old address. Finally, one day he came over and delivered a letter along with his anger and a tirade of accusations. He ended by inviting me to the movies.

I was immensely grateful for his promise not to bring any more mail.

One night I returned home to find him waiting in his car, blocking my driveway. He got out and limped over to me. "Here," he said as he handed me a package. "I shouldn't even give this to you considering you're the worse neighbor in the world. I'm sick. I'm in a lot of pain and you haven't done a thing for me. This time I mean it. I'm never ever going to bring you any more mail. And besides you never even took me to the movies like you said you would."

***
"Ma'am, we're evacuating all the houses on this road. We're dealing with a serious situation," said the officer. "Um, do you know your neighbor well?" he asked.

"No. Not really. I do know he has some mental health issues." I said wondering what was going on.

My neighbor killed himself that day.
***

Last night as the misty dusk swallowed the sun, I saw him - a spirit dangling from a dark cloud above the vacant house down the road.

I thought I heard him whisper, "Movies, movies. Take me please." But, it must have been the wind.
***

(I embellished a bit, but basically it's a true story.

I think Halloween acknowledges our fears and our dark side. If we don't acknowledge them, how else can we expose them to the light?)


20 comments:

  1. wow....nicely woven tale myrna...def has a spooky factor...and i agree on the darkness and acknowledging it...true stuff...

    happy sunday

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  2. Wow from me, too! I'm sitting here wondering which parts were embellished...and hoping many of them were!

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  3. * ! *



    *speechless*


    Aloha from Honolulu

    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

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  4. I am speechless... literally stumped with the jaw dropped! This must haunt you?

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  5. Myrna, I wonder how much is real and how much is fiction. Sad story but I'm glad that it taught you something.

    We don't have halloween here but we sure have a dark side to us.

    Joy always and happy November.

    ~ Susan

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  6. Fascinating! Do you have any regrets for not taking him to the movies? This was one interesting story.

    http://rimlybezbaruah.blogspot.com/2011/10/as-veil-lifted.html

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  7. This is a story so well fitting the Halloween season.;) It comes across sad in parts though, what a terrible life to live this way, alone and on the verge of lunacy I guess.
    Have a a great Halloween dear Myrna - and beware.;))
    xoox

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  8. WOW..my jaw is on the floor ..emotions in chaos...As always...XOXOXOXO

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  9. Oh my Myrna...You've got me thinking real hard. Just this morning my husband and I were discussing a neighbour who we can see going to pieces slowly...What does one do? How do you reach out without it being misunderstood as interference?

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  10. is this a fiction or a real story?

    so sad, very haunting imagery.

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  11. I am blown away! You drew me right into your story in the first sentence and kept my interest all the way to the end.
    Scary story, and a sad one for this poor man, but perfect for Halloween.
    Blessings!

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  12. oh my goodness...this is spooky indeed myrna...well woven tale...even more frightening because you say it's based on a true story...thank god we're having really nice neighbors...

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  13. Wow! That is quite a story! Love the eeriness to the tone.

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  14. as you know, this creates a deep emotional reaction in me - a mother who lost a child to suicide.

    not preaching just adding that depression is a disease of the brain.

    you painted a very real story. well done Myrna.

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  15. This was so haunting. Mental illness frightens me. I think it may be because of not feeling all that "sane" in the first place. Very sad story, but beautifully told.

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  16. Gripping and heart-breaking. The Irish have a saying: It's easy to rest on another man's wound. I take that to mean we never really know or feel what another is going through. The main thing is to know that and proceed humbly. So sad and hard.

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  17. Myra, Hi, WOW! What a story... riveting, surprising, scary, sad. Thanks for you comments on Becky's blog. nice to meet you!

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  18. thanks for your comment and well wishes myrna... really enjoying the time... took a long walk on the beach today and now sitting at starbucks, reloading the batteries.. smiles
    wishing you a lovely week..

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