Good Fences…

Nine o’clock. It’s raining right now, constantly and damply drenching everything in the black night. Aesop braved the weather to do his business. I glanced north to the neighbor’s backyard where there was a porch light on his collectibles. Aesop tended south along the house. The scene out back evokes memories in the darkness, though the chronology is a little obscure. The old neighbors to the south had a big dog named Rocky. Their friends would come over during Obama and play baseball outside. Come nighttime they made a fire in the pit and sat around it telling stories. One day a fence board broke and Rocky and Aesop could’ve fought each other in the chink. I went next door and explained the situation to the wife. That evening at five, her husband replaced the board. I offered to reimburse him, but he said forget it, it was only two bucks. It was perhaps the only time we ever spoke. The neighbors with Rocky might’ve lived there a couple of years. They were renting from Rich and Susan who used to live there with four children. In January 2010, during a power outage, he invited me over to breakfast that became an inquisition about my religious beliefs. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life. The November of the same year, they moved away to the fish hatchery out of town where he had a job. Rich asked me to keep an eye on his house, which he’d been unable to sell. Currently the house has been bought by the occupants now there. We’ve only spoken two or three times…

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