Do You Even Know Your Neighbor?

Phillip-GarridoGarrido sits in court with his lawyer, Susan Gellman, at the El Dorado superior court, in Placerville

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Who amongst us has not heard the case of Phillip Garrido, the California man accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard and turning her into a sex slave; we all heard it by now. What a tragedy! What an invertebrate, monster and despicable human being. I mean, there are not appropriate words to even define this individual and sing along wife.

Poor Jaycee Lee! I can just imagine what she has gone through and still is. Her life, the suffering, having been raped and giving birth to this animal’s children… the pain and the death of her innocence.

And to think that neighbor’s were oblivious to it all. They had no idea what was even occurring in their own backyard. No one said a word; no one peeked; no one found their behavior unusual; no one cared to call the police; oh well one did but what good did it do? Investigations not needed. The dude is a sex offender for Christ sake it should have risen a flag.

Back where I come from, it would have spread like H1N1 flu; your neighbor would know like yesterday. She would have it memorized like her favorite telenovela (soapopera), so would your neighbor’s mama; your neighbor’s friend’s mama; your neighbor’s mama’s best friend; your neighbor’s baby’s mama; your neighbor’s mama ‘s rival; your neighbor’s mama ‘s driver, and even your neighbor’s dead grandma would have risen up from the grave just to take a peek at all the commotion and go back down under in a jiffy. Here we are and not one neighbor cared. It is none of my business; that was the modus operandi. Who gives a coo coo?! Not in my backyard, I guess!

Having said that, how many of us can really say that we “know” our neighbors? I don’t! Not the one to the left, or the one to the right, nor the one to the front or the one to the back. I just don’t know them other than the casual “hello, how are you?” or they know me or anyone else on the block for that matter.

The one to the right, we are acquaintances; we have exchanged phone numbers and the husband helped me with my car battery the other day. So, I guess we are cool but they never came over for barbecue, and yet they felt the need to park one of their cars on my parking space until I killed their hopes. Just between us, the insurance onchos indicated that I would be liable if something happened to their car. Since I don’t have enough TVs to go around if sued, I scratched the scenario even without a semicolon. They kind frown their noses and I, life goes on.  One less thing for me to worry about; there is until the next occurrence.

The one to the back never heard of them until Wilma, the hurricane, stopped by a few years back leaving us without fences and electricity. We noticed but never addressed each other. Last thing I know, they had their generator going at 6AM waking up all the Gods and dead people around the block. I killed their feel good occasion when I walked up to them, still in my pajamas, appealing to temporary sanity. I mean, no electricity, no air-conditioning to block the noise, it is not like we were working so… what’s up? They understood and turned it back on at a “reasonable hour” if that was ever one since it was time to clean up the debris. I learned years later that they have two young kids, my bad. I just wanted to catch some sleep after “peeing” on my pants from having experienced hurricane force wind.

The one to the left, what can say, there have been a few gentiles. The owner is away and the house gets rented. The last ones, they left two weeks ago, never met them, only saw the back of their heads; and the prior one’s, they were colorful: loud music every single freaking day, literary, especially on weekends. It was a given, fiesta until the police stopped over or I banged something (whatever it was at that point) to sleep. Funny, the wife was pregnant and I only learned of it when I heard a baby crying. Then it was like, “who’s baby is it?” and then it was, “What’s up neighbor, is the baby a she or a he?” He proudly replied back, “a he”.  Congratulations, a couple. They already had a little girl and a crazy rabbit that always popped in my backyard uninvited and unannounced. I smelled a good “Caldeirada” – a Portuguese dish, so he was lucky.

The one to the front, what can I say. The kid, I believe their son or whomever he is, was infatuated with me (geez some people still is; I am impressed) to the point of “greeting me” every single day or time I came home. It was creepy as he would just popped out of the blue but I have not seen him lately so, I am hoping he is somewhere frying himself on the beach.

The others, humm, they live on the block. Lots of dogs, a few grandmas and some skinny dude who is always jogging as if he even needed it and his wife who is always sitting around on the porch, just gazing at what I have no idea!

So there, you met my neighbors!

Once upon a time I got something in the mail, someone was organizing a block party. We got all excited, we were finally ready to mingle; yeah right, it fail flat like a pancake. Not too many people signed up, I heard. Due to the complexity and the cultural mix, I can understand but not really.

The good thing is that we kind bounded momentarily during Wilma to clean up the debris. Everyone pinched in but not the ones to the left. They were novices; not one pile was lifted. Hey, they were renting; who cares? Once the street was cleared enough for the cars to go by, everyone disbursed to his or her own cubbyholes to only be seen sporadically. Life goes on. Welcome!

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2 thoughts on “Do You Even Know Your Neighbor?

  1. I know my neighbors somewhat — and we wave and are friendly. The houses next door — I know what goes on their backyards. past that — impossible to know. Fences and foliage hide everything. But the noise of children… in tents…for years. Hard to ignore. Bet those neighbors feel real bad right about now. One lady raised some questions and her hubby told her to forget about it and mind her own business. Hmph! Just goes to show — NEVER listen to your husband. What the heck do THEY know!

  2. Not to mention the parole officer and others who were supposed to be checking up on a sex offender over the years. YIKES!

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