I think there are about 4 times as many people on my street here in Seattle as there were growing up some ways north of here.
This requires some adjustments.
For instance, watering the plants on the back porch while wearing pajamas does not expose me to simply two neighbors as in my hometown… Now there are the people in the houses either side, the lovely couple (we like them) who live in an apartment at the exact level of our back porch, and the random people who walk through the alley at all hours of the day. I guess it’s only a problem if I find myself performing for this new audience. Choreographing a song-and-dance-and-watering routine, and wearing pajamas a little more trendy or revealing. For now, my decade-old (but still in good condition) sheep PJ pants and orange hoodie leave a LOT to the imagination.
A benefit, and easier adjustment, to denser city-living is that I can pretend the neighbor cats are mine. Obviously Sparky the Adorable Tabby wishes Josh and I were his/her people, or s/he would not spend so much time in our yard. Okay Sparky’s Real People… we’re not technically sure who you are –you’re either the new youngish couple or the older guy with the unusual bike– but we ask for first dibs if for any reason you are unable to care for Sparky. We do have some questions for you… like, what is Sparky’s real name? Gender? But no possible answers to that will be deal-breakers. And if Sparky mysteriously goes missing… um, we probably just wanted to cuddle inside. S/He has climbed in through our room-mate’s window, so we’re not technically responsible. We didn’t know s/he was here, in fact, until you asked. We did notice that Daphne seemed a lot nicer, and had morphed into a shorthair tabby, but we thought she was just sick of being a long-haired calico. Sometimes I chop and dye my hair, too.
Okay, enough of that. The weirdest thing? Everyone assumes that edible food within reach of the sidewalk is theirs’ for the taking. So, yes, we did help ourselves to all the cherries we could reach from our cherry tree. And we didn’t mind terribly when other neighbors (whom we know by name and sight) started picking some as well – at least they asked us first. But Josh saw this guy and his little kid come by with a bucket and this weird tube-thing, and started getting more cherries from our tree. I was at my home-away-from-home that day, but I picture Josh standing at our window, watching the guy help himself, and in traditional “we mind our own business” city fashion not saying a word.
Yes, we’d had more than enough cherries. Yes, we couldn’t reach those ones. But who the heck are you guy? And where do you live? We’d like to enjoy your harvest.