In the last month, two of our neighbors have moved out and two new ones have moved in. Except that in each case, “two” means two different things. We’re talking about two units, and in both of them, the two neighbors that moved in really are two people: one person in the unit above us, and one person in the unit next to us. But the “two” neighbors that have moved out are actually two families: one is a man and his wife, and the other is the family of four that lived nextdoor.
Our next-door neighbors were exceptionally kind to us, helping us acclimate to the new surroundings when we moved in, and offering to catsit for us, without hesistation, during the many times we’ve left town in the last year. But the best element they the brought to the building was their older kid—a rambunctious, excitable two-year-old girl. It was a rare night this summer when we’d be in the kitchen and not find her tapping on our screen door, seeking out a chance to play with Lucy. We really grew to enjoy having kids around, and it was with sadness that we learned that the friendly two-year-old, as well as the two other young’uns on the third floor, would all be moving out by the end of the fall.
The new two moved in a couple weeks ago. One of them’s a thirty-something man, living alone, and the other a thirty-something woman, also living alone. They seem like perfectly nice folks, though it’s going to be hard for a while to look at them and not blame them for the disappearance of our friends (as illogical as that clearly is). I’m sure we’ll warm up to them soon.
What’s clear is the dynamic of the place is going to change dramatically. No more coming home to kiddie pools on the porch. No more surprise evening and afternoon visits from curious kids on cat safaris. It’ll be a quieter building for a while, and I’m not sure that’s for the best.