It’s springtime in Parnell.
The weather has grown a gentle touch with its flowers all in bloom, and the days stretch forth lavishly to the night.
Which is fucking bullshit.
I live in a block of flats whose residents must share a common court-yard. With the days getting longer, the risk that I will be required to comport myself in a pleasant manner has grown unacceptably high. Because the later the sun goes down, the more likely it is that a neighbor will see me, and attempt to interact. Perhaps we will see each other at the mailboxes. We’ll make a joke about how the only thing we ever get is bills, followed by a vague departure that always seems overly abrupt. How can people live like this?
In the winter months, it’s easy for a guy like me to slither into the darkness at the hint of danger. Although sometimes I think my neighbors actually do see me hiding, but don’t say anything out of that peculiar sense of propriety a lot of Kiwis seem to have. Once or twice there were startled screams and swear words, and a lengthy explanation as to why I was “skulking around”. (I’d say more, but my attorney advised me not to).
In short, it’s gotten a lot harder to keep to oneself at this time of year. Thanks a lot axis tilted from perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic by 23.45°, thanks a million.
Don’t get me wrong. My neighbors are all very nice. I’ve had plenty of decent conversations with our friends in the courtyard.
But after a long day at work, I really don’t want to have to pretend to give a shit. After all, I promised myself a long time ago I would never take my work home with me.
So far I’ve been lucky, as none of my neighbors have been there to force my hand to act pleasantly.
In fact, the only person I’ve seen this spring after work was a stranger. I was almost done smoking a cigarette in the courtyard. This strange woman stopped on the sidewalk at the other end of the courtyard 25 meters away. She looked to be in her 60s. She had dark hair and wore sunglasses. I realized she had stopped there because she was walking her dog, which at that moment was pissing on all our mail.
I bent over, stubbed the cigarette, flicked the butt in the trash and headed toward my door. The woman must have been watching me.
“You don’t have to put that out because of me,” she yelled. “It’s ok with me if you’re smoking a joint.”
Thanks to everyone who pointed out the many grammar and spelling errors in this post.