Sometimes I hear my neighbor talking 
to her dog in the yard, and I wait until she
goes inside before I take my trash to the bin.

I am equal parts misanthrope and recluse, 
wishing for that elusive neighborhood 
in which there are no neighbors. 

When I lived in the city I wore sunglasses
in the grocery store and left the house only
when there was nothing left to eat. 

I will be glad when the pandemic is over, 
but I will miss this year of wearing a mask, 
and finally feeling at ease in the world. 

One thought on “Unmasking

  1. I love this, because I feel much the same toward moving about in the world. In fact, as T. and I search for a house to buy here in da Ville, it’s that desire for a neighborhood without neighbors that buggers up the search process. Every house we look at feels too close to the other ones, encroaching upon our privacy. Yet we aren’t really country dwellers. We’re city kids who need some space between us and the people next door. That’s a hard thing to come by in the city center (East side, really), where we’re mostly looking. How do people do it — live with other house’s not much more than a couple of arm’s lengths away? I’m always this close to packing it up and moving to California, anyway, where I imagine the space between me and the nearest neighbors would matter less, though I’m old enough to know it wouldn’t change a thing. Especially since all we could afford in Cali would be a mobile home.

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