Won't you be my neighbor?

I have new neighbors, which is kind of a bummer, because I really liked the old ones, and I also really liked not having neighbors after the old ones left. I plan on introducing my wife and myself to them soon, if for no other reason than to establish mutual humanity early on. People find it more difficult to treat others like crap once you know each others names. That was something our previous neighbors did the day we moved in, and it set the foundation for a positive relationship from the get go. Buzz and his family had moved to Colorado from Florida. As we moved our furniture into the house, he approached me and asked if we had any children of our own, as his kids were hoping for playmates. I told him that we didn’t, and he said that that was a shame, but if we ever needed anything or had any problems, we should let him know.

Since leaving the dorms at University, I have known as little about my neighbors as possible. This has never been premeditated on my part, it just rarely came up. Occasionally, I would meet one of the other denizens of my apartment complex going in or out of the building, but we never formed any bonds. When I moved into the apartment I first shared with my wife, we would pleasantly greet our neighbors but nothing more. As families moved out and drug dealers moved in, the pleasant greetings turned to downward glances as I tried to avoid the notice of “scary hallway people.”

There are those who look upon the past as a magical realm in which everyone knew everyone. They spin tales about when they were kids and it always feels like they are talking about a 1950s that never existed. A place where people could leave their doors unlocked without fear of murderers or rapists infiltrating their communities. However, I also imagine this as the same sort of place where I’d have to take a loyalty oath three times a day just to make my coworkers feel comfortable. While I believe that this selective sentimentality is nonsense and does nothing but stir fear, I will agree that it is important to know your neighbors, or at the very least, let them get to know you.

I’ve been working on various writing projects this week, a few horror themed scripts, a few articles, as well as unearthing some ideas for short fiction. Last year, my sister asked me for a writing prompt for October. I told her we should each do one this year, we’ll see of she takes the bait. Mostly I’m just hoping that something I’ve written busts loose soon. It would be nice to feel like something is living independent of me and not so much like I’m an old-timey dust bowl pitchman with a briefcase full of miracles.

Things I’m obsessed with this week:

Full flavored root beer
Due to the description in Stephen King’s “11/22/63” regarding a time traveller’s love affair with a mug of 1958 root beer, I haven’t been able to get the beverage off my mind. So far the best I’ve had this week has been a bottle of Boylan’s Root Beer I purchased at a newsstand. I can tell that this is going to be a quest.

Plastic Cat Skeletons at Target
Due to the approaching Halloween holiday, every retail outlet is letting their freak-flag fly. While most of the decorations on display are the average, I was truly taken aback by this odd little bobble.

Afterlife with Archie
It does feel like zombies are played out, but this is one story I can highly recommend. It’s genuinely scary and they’ve started featuring old school EC/Creepy inspired horror stories at the end of each issue. If you’re at all a fan of horror, you ow it to yourself to pick this up.

Frasier
I know that this show has been off the air for years now, but its mastery of character and farce is timeless. It has become a part of my morning routine as I prepare my breakfast and drink my coffee, the pompous declarations of Doctor Frasier Crane always keep me laughing.