Boxes in my neighbors’ yards

I suppose I’ve become that nosey neighbor.

It used to be the woman who strategically took her dog for bathroom breaks outside while she chugged a cig and noted the changes of the neighborhood’s inhabitants. She knew folks’ comings and goings, their new arrivals and their sent aways, and she was a master at delivering each person’s juicy gossip – as observed and not told directly. Most of us figured the dog was incontenent; I mean, no dog has to “do his business” every hour on the hour. Talk with it’s owner, though, and it was clear that the “business” was being minded was ours.

And now I find myself being the voyer. When I’m cooking, I’m glancing out the window lightly shielded by the sheer curtains. When I’m outside at the mailbox, I linger a few minutes observing the different vehicles occupying the spaces beside my house. When I walk to the bus stop to meet my son, I note each house’s front lawn – some painstakingly decorated for the seasons despite HOA warnings.

There’s this one house on that route down the street that always causes me pause. The owner (whom I’ve never seen), is a paid-per-delivery employee’s dream. Every day, new packages sit on the porch. They’re in plain sight and carelessly close to a very busy street. And these boxes of many sizes are most often from Amazon, as the bright red tape emblazoned with “fire” entices attention.

Two little brown-and-white dogs sit on either side of the door peering out through the windows that frame it. They watch as I pass by, barking acknowledgement – or warning. They must be waiting for more packages.

The owner is female. I know this because I dared to walk closer and glimpsed her name, which is, coincidentally, merely a letter added to my youngest’s moniker. I wonder what she is ordering. I wonder if her commute is long and she busies herself shopping online. Were those couple of shoe boxes from last week housing sensible work shoes, or does she house a stellar collection of fashionable high heels? I wonder what this woman, with the name invented like my daughter’s, might be like.

And then I walk on by.

Metaphor-in definitions on 9.17

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How to… completely botch a shoot

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Sunflower in the room of roses

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I’m borrowing this phrase from my student’s grandfather. Perhaps he borrowed it from somewhere, too. Nevertheless, it hits home with me as a woman, as a daughter, and as a mother. Dear Chi, As you continue in this rough time and space known as “middle school,” as you juggle life in the “tween” years between […]

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Complacency

He plops down onto a tattered couch. Dust rises as he settles onto the cushions, shifting his weight onto the remaining fluff and off the protruding springs seeking to stab his flesh. Reaching a grubby hand into his bowl of popcorn, he secures a handful of keernels and soggy, nearly stale puffs. He shovels the […]

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a place called home

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If I were Dorothy, I’d click my heels and recite “there’s no place…” But I’m Rachelle: homeless, wandering, in search of something… more. I miss knowing who I am and what I aspired to become. There’s no map for directions (I probably couldn’t navigate it, anyway) There are days when I feel like stopping, just […]

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