Without prior notice (part 1)

I sometimes wonder if we realize how lonely most of us are, or if after only a couple of generations of suburbanization, we have begun to consider the isolation of our homes and subdivisions as integral parts of adult existence.

In our cul-de-sac, there are six houses. If you drove down the street, we would be the second house on the left. Unremarkable, except that of all six houses, ours is the most likely to have a number of cars parked in front of it. From the point of view of our front door, there are five houses: our neighbors to the left and right, and then the three houses directly across the street.

Softball season

"We've got hot dogs available for fifty cents at the concession stand. Hot dogs, fifty cents, come and get them while they last. We've also got hot fresh pizza, a dollar a slice. Come and get it while it's fresh…"

Despite bricks, insulation, and drywall, we can hear the noises from the nearby softball field. If our house is quiet at the time, we can make out most of what's being said over the complex's public-address system. When we first moved in, our neighbor joked that it was difficult, some Saturday mornings, to keep from turning off his lawnmower and wandering over to the softball field, spare change in hand.